Revelation 3:14-22 messenger - "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 are neither cold nor hot: I would thou were 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."
The City Of Laodicea
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The name, Laodicea, which means, "people's rights" was very common and was given to several cities in honor of royal ladies so named. This city was one of the most politically important and financially flourishing cities in Asia Minor. Enormous amounts of property were bequeathed to the city by prominent citizens. It was the seat of a great medical school. Its people were distinguished in the arts and sciences. It was often called the 'metropolis' as it was the county seat for twenty-five other cities. The pagan god worshipped there was Zeus. In fact this city was once called Diopolis (City of Zeus) in honor of their god. In the fourth century an important church council was held there. Frequent earthquakes finally caused its complete abandonment.
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How fitting were the characteristics of this last age to represent the age in which we now live. For example, they worshipped one god, Zeus, who was the chief and father of the gods. This forecast the twentieth century 'one God, father-of-us-all' religious premise that sets forth the brotherhood of man, and is even now bringing together the Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, etc. with the intent that a mutual form of worship will increase our love, understanding, and care of each other. The Catholics and Protestants are even now striving for, and actually gaining ground in this union with the avowed intent that all others will follow. This very attitude was seen in the United Nations Organization when the world leaders refused to recognize any one individual concept of spiritual worship but recommended putting aside all those separate concepts with the hopes that all religions become leveled into one, for all desire the same goals, all have the same purposes and all are basically right.
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Notice the name, Laodicea, 'the people's rights', or 'justice of the peoples.' Was there ever an age like the twentieth century church age that has seen ALL nations rising up and demanding equality, socially and financially? This is the age of the communists where all men are supposedly equal, though it is only so in theory. This is the age of political parties who call themselves Christian Democrats, and Christian Socialists, Christian Commonwealth Federation, etc. According to our liberal theologians Jesus was a socialist and the early church under the guidance of the Spirit practiced socialism, and thus we ought to do so today.
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When the ancients called Laodicea the metropolis it was looking forward to the one-world government that we are now setting up. As we think of that city being the location of a great church council we see foreshadowed the ecumenical move taking place today, wherein very soon we will see all the 'so-called' Christians come together. Indeed, the church and state, religion and politics are coming together. The tares are being bound. The wheat will soon be ready for the garner.
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It was a city of earthquakes, such earthquakes as finally destroyed it. This age will end in God shaking the whole world that has gone off to make love with the old harlot. Not only will world systems crumble, but the very earth will be shaken and then renovated for the millennial reign of Christ.
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The city was rich, endowed by the wealthy. It was full of culture. Science abounded. How like today. The churches are rich. The worship is beautiful and formal, but cold and dead. Culture and education have taken the place of the Spirit-given Word, and faith has been superseded by science, so that man is a victim of materialism.
In every attribute ancient Laodicea is found reborn in the twentieth-century Laodicean Age. In the mercy of God, may those who have an ear to hear come out of her that they be not partakers of her sins and the consequent judgment.
CHURCH AGE BOOK - THE LAODICEAN AGE
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THE LAODICEAN AGE
The Laodicean Age began around the turn of the Twentieth Century, perhaps 1906. How long will it last? As a servant of God who has had multitudes of visions, of which NONE has ever failed, let me predict (I did not say prophesy, but predict) that this age will end around 1977. If you will pardon a personal note here, I base this prediction on seven major continuous visions that came to me one Sunday morning in June, 1933. The Lord Jesus spoke to me and said that the coming of the Lord was drawing nigh, but that before He came, seven major events would transpire. I wrote them all down and that morning I gave forth the revelation of the Lord. The first vision was that Mussolini would invade Ethiopia and that nation would "fall at his steps". That vision surely did cause some repercussions, and some were very angry when I said it and would not believe it. But it happened that way. He just walked in there with his modern arms and took over. The natives didn't have a chance. But the vision also said that Mussolini would come to a horrible end with his own people turning on him. That came to pass just exactly as it was said.
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The next vision foretold that an Austrian by the name of Adolph Hitler would rise up as dictator over Germany, and that he would draw the world into war. It showed the Siegfried line and how our troops would have a terrible time to overcome it. Then it showed that Hitler would come to a mysterious end.
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The third vision was in the realm of world politics for it showed me that there would be three great ISMS, Facism, Nazism, Communism, but that the first two would be swallowed up into the third. The voice admonished, "WATCH RUSSIA, WATCH RUSSIA. Keep your eye on the King of the North."
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The fourth vision showed the great advances in science that would come after the second world war. It was headed up in the vision of a plastic bubble-topped car that was running down beautiful highways under remote control so that people appeared seated in this car without a steering wheel and they were playing some sort of a game to amuse themselves.
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The fifth vision had to do with the moral problem of our age, centering mostly around women. God showed me that women began to be out of their place with the granting of the vote. Then they cut off their hair, which signified that they were no longer under the authority of a man but insisted on either equal rights, or in most cases, more than equal rights. She adopted men's clothing and went into a state of undress, until the last picture I saw was a woman naked except for a little fig leaf type apron. With this vision I saw the terrible perversion and moral plight of the whole world.
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Then in the sixth vision there arose up in America a most beautiful, but cruel woman. She held the people in her complete power. I believed that this was the rise of the Roman Catholic Church, though I knew it could possibly be a vision of some woman rising in great power in America due to a popular vote by women.
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The last and seventh vision was wherein I heard a most terrible explosion. As I turned to look I saw nothing but debris, craters, and smoke all over the land of America.
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Based on these seven visions, along with the rapid changes which have swept the world in the last fifty years, I PREDICT (I do not prophesy) that these visions will have all come to pass by 1977. And though many may feel that this is an irresponsible statement in view of the fact that Jesus said that 'no man knoweth the day nor the hour.' I still maintain this prediction after thirty years because, Jesus did NOT say no man could know the year, month or week in which His coming was to be completed. So I repeat, I sincerely believe and maintain as a private student of the Word, along with Divine inspiration that 1977 ought to terminate the world systems and usher in the millennium.
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Now let me say this. Can anyone prove any of those visions wrong? Were they not all fulfilled? Yes, each one has been fulfilled, or is in the process right now. Mussolini invaded Ethiopia successfully, then fell and lost it all. Hitler started a war he could not finish and died mysteriously. Communism took over both the other two ISMS. The plastic bubble car has been built and is awaiting only a better network of roads. Women are all but naked, and are even now wearing topless bathing suits. And just the other day I saw in a magazine the very dress that I saw in my vision (if you can call it a dress). It was a plastic transparent type of cloth with three darkened spots that covered both breasts in a small area, and then there was a dark place like a small apron below. The Catholic Church is on the rise. We have had one Catholic president and will no doubt have another. What is left? Nothing except Hebrews 12:26. "Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." Once more God will shake the earth and with it shake everything loose that can be shaken. Then He will renovate it. Just last March, 1964, that Good Friday earthquake of Alaska shook the whole world though it did not unbalance it. But God was warning by a world tremor what He will soon do on a greater scale. He is going to blast and rock this sin-cursed world, my brother, my sister, and there is only one place that can stand that shock, and that is in the fold of the Lord Jesus. And I would beseech you while God's mercy is still available to you, that you give your whole life, unreservedly to Jesus Christ, Who as the faithful Shepherd will save you and care for you and present you faultless in glory with exceeding great joy.
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I doubt very much if any age truly knew the messenger that God had sent unto it, except in the first age where Paul was the messenger. And even in that age many did not recognize him for what he was.
Now the age in which we are living is going to be a very short one. Events are going to transpire very rapidly. So the messenger to this Laodicean Age has to be here now, though perhaps we don't know him as yet. But there will surely have to be a time that he becomes known. Now I can prove that because we have Scripture that describes his ministry.
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First of all, that messenger is going to be a prophet. He will have the office of a prophet. He will have the prophetic ministry. It will be based solidly on the Word because when he prophesies or has a vision, it will always be "Word oriented" and it will ALWAYS come to pass. He will be vindicated as a prophet because of his accuracy. The proof that he is a prophet is found in Revelation 10:7 "But in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as He hath declared to His servants, the prophets." Now this person, who in this verse is called an 'angel' in the King James version is NOT an heavenly being. The sixth trumpeting angel, who is an heavenly being, is in Revelation 9:13, and the seventh of like order is in Revelation 11:15. This one here in Revelation 10:7 is the seventh age messenger and it is a man, and he is to bring a message from God, and his message and ministry is going to finish the mystery of God as declared to His servants, the prophets. God is going to treat this last messenger as a prophet BECAUSE HE IS A PROPHET. That is what Paul was in the first age, and the last age has one, too. Amos 3:6-7, "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants, the prophets."
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It was in the end-time period that the seven thunders of Jesus came forth. Revelation 10:3-4, "And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not." What was in those thunders no one knows. But we need to know. And it will take a prophet to get the revelation because God has no other way of bringing out His Scriptural revelations except by a prophet. The Word always came by a prophet and always will. That this is the law of God is evident by even a casual search of Scripture. The unchanging God with unchanging ways invariably sent His prophet in every age where the people had strayed from Divine order. With both the theologians and the people having departed from the Word, God always sent His servant to these people (but apart from the theologians) in order to correct false teaching and lead the people back to God.
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So we see a seventh age messenger coming, and he is a prophet.
Not only do we see this messenger coming here in Revelation 10:7, but we find that the Word speaks of Elijah coming before Jesus returns. In Matthew 17:10, "And His disciples asked Him saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?" And Jesus said, "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." Before the coming of our Lord, Elijah must come back for a work of restoration in the church. This is what Malachi 4:5 says, "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." There is absolutely no doubt that Elijah must return before the coming of Jesus. He has a specific work to accomplish. That work is the part of Malachi 4:6 that says "he will turn the hearts of the children to their fathers". The reason that we know this is his specific work to do at that time is because he has already accomplished the part that says "he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children," when the Elijah ministry was here in John the Baptist. Luke 1:17, "And he shall go before Him in the Spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the Just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." In the ministry of John the "hearts of the fathers were turned to the children". We know that because Jesus said so. But it does not say that the hearts of the children were turned to the fathers. That is yet to take place. The hearts of the last day children will be turned back to the Pentecostal fathers. John got the fathers ready for Jesus to welcome the children into the fold. Now this prophet upon whom the Spirit of Elijah falls will prepare the children to welcome back Jesus.
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Jesus called John the Baptist, Elijah. Matthew 17:12, "But I say unto you that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him what they listed." The reason that he called John Elijah, was because the same Spirit that was upon Elijah had come back upon John, even as that Spirit had come back upon Elisha after the reign of King Ahab. Now once again that Spirit will come back upon another man just before Jesus comes. He will be a prophet. He will be vindicated as such by God. Since Jesus, Himself, in the flesh won't be here to vindicate him, (as He did John) it will be done by the Holy Spirit so that this prophet's ministry will be attended by great and wonderful manifestation. As a prophet, every revelation will be vindicated, for every revelation will come to pass. Wonderful acts of power will be performed at his commands in faith. Then will be brought forth the message that God has given him in the Word to turn the people back to truth and the true power of God. Some will listen, but the majority will run true to form and reject him.
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Since this prophet messenger of Revelation 10:7 will be the same as Malachi 4:5-6 he will be naturally like Elijah and John. Both were men set apart from the accepted religious schools of their day. Both were men of the wilderness. Both acted only when they had "Thus saith the Lord," straight from God by revelation. Both lashed out against the religious orders and leaders of their day. But not only was that so, they lashed out against all who were corrupt or would corrupt others. And notice, both prophesied much against immoral women and their ways. Elijah cried out against Jezebel, and John rebuked Herodias, Philip's wife.
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Though he will not be popular, he will be vindicated by God. As Jesus authenticated John, and the Holy Ghost authenticated Jesus, we can well expect this man will be first of all authenticated by the Spirit working in his life in acts of power that are indisputable and found nowhere else; and Jesus Himself, in returning, will authenticate him, even as He authenticated John. John witnessed that Jesus was coming,--and so will this man, like John, witness that Jesus is coming. And the very return of Christ will prove that this man indeed was the forerunner of His second coming. This is the final evidence that this indeed is the prophet of Malachi 4, for the end of the Gentile period will be Jesus, Himself, appearing. Then it will be too late for those who have rejected him.
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In order to further clarify our presentation of this last day prophet, let us particularly note that the prophet of Matthew 11:12, was John the Baptist, who was the one foretold in Malachi 3:1, "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, Whom ye delight in; behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts." Matthew 11:1-12, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding His twelve disciples, He departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto Him, Art thou He That should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written. Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." This has already taken place. This has happened. It is over. But note now in Malachi 4:1-6, "For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." See, immediately after the coming of THIS Elijah, the earth will be cleansed by fire and the wicked burned to ashes. Of course, this did NOT happen at the time of John (the Elijah for his day.) The Spirit of God that prophesied the coming of the messenger in Malachi 3:1 (John) was but reiterating His previous prophetic statement of Isaiah 40:3 made at least three centuries previously. "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Now John, by the Holy Ghost, voiced both Isaiah and Malachi in Matthew 3:3, "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." So we can well see from these Scriptures that the prophet in Malachi 3, who was John, was NOT the prophet of Malachi 4, though indeed, both John and this last-day prophet have upon them the same Spirit Which was upon Elijah.
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Now this messenger of Malachi 4 and Revelation 10:7 is going to do two things. One: According to Malachi 4 he will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers. Two: He will reveal the mysteries of the seven thunders in Revelation 10 which are the revelations contained in the seven seals. It will be these Divinely revealed 'mystery-truths' that literally turn the hearts of the children to the Pentecostal fathers. Exactly so.
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But consider this also. This prophet-messenger will be in his nature and manners as were Elijah and John. The people of this prophet-messenger's day will be as they were in Ahab's day, and in John's. And since it is "ONLY THE CHILDREN" whose hearts will be turned, it is only the children who will listen. In the days of Ahab only 7,000 true seed Israelites were found. In the days of John there were also very few. The masses in both ages were in the fornication of idolatry.
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I want to make one more comparison between the Laodicean prophet-messenger and John, the prophet-messenger who preceded Jesus' first coming. The people in John's day mistook him for the Messiah. John 1:19-20, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ." Now this last day prophet-messenger will have such power before the Lord that there will be those who mistake him for the Lord Jesus. (There will be a spirit in the world at the end time that will seduce some and make them believe this. Matthew 24:23-26, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.") But don't you believe it. He is not Jesus Christ. He is not the Son of God. HE IS ONE OF THE BRETHREN, A PROPHET, A MESSENGER, A SERVANT OF GOD. He needs no greater honor bestowed upon him than that which John received when he was the voice that cried, "I am not He, BUT HE IS COMING AFTER ME."
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Before we close this section on the messenger of the Laodicean Age, we must seriously consider these two thoughts. First, this age will have ONE Prophet-Messenger. Revelation 10:7, says, "When he (singular) shall begin to sound." There has never been an age where God gave His people two major prophets at one time. He gave Enoch (alone); He gave Noah (alone); He gave Moses (he alone had the Word though others prophesied); John the Baptist came ALONE. Now in this last day there is to be a PROPHET (not a prophetess--though in this age there are more women purporting to give God's revelation than men), and the infallible Word says that he (the prophet) will reveal the mysteries to the end time people, and turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers. There are those who say that God's people are going to come together through a collective revelation. I challenge that statement. It is a bald, invalid assumption in the face of Revelation 10:7. Now I do not deny that people will prophesy in this last age and their ministries can and will be correct. I do not deny that there will be prophets even as in the days of Paul when there was "one Agabus a prophet who prophesied of a famine". I agree that is so. BUT I DENY UPON THE INFALLIBLE EVIDENCE OF THE WORD THAT THERE IS MORE THAN ONE MAJOR PROPHET-MESSENGER WHO WILL REVEAL THE MYSTERIES AS CONTAINED IN THE WORD, AND WHO HAS THE MINISTRY TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN TO THE FATHERS. "Thus saith the Lord" by His unfailing Word stands, and shall stand and be vindicated. There is one prophet-messenger to this age. On the basis of human behavior alone, anyone knows that where there are many people there is even divided opinion on lesser points of a major doctrine which they all hold together. Who then will have the power of infallibility which is to be restored in this last age, for this last age is going to go back to manifesting the Pure Word Bride? That means we will have the Word once again as it was perfectly given, and perfectly understood in the days of Paul. I will tell you who will have it. It will be a prophet as thoroughly vindicated, or even more thoroughly vindicated than was any prophet in all the ages from Enoch to this day, because this man will of necessity have the capstone prophetic ministry, and God will shew him forth. He won't need to speak for himself, God will speak for him by the voice of the sign. Amen.
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The second thought that must be impressed on our hearts is that the seven church ages started out with the antichrist spirit as well as the Holy Spirit Who is to be blessed forever. I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." Did you notice it? The antichrist spirit is identified with false prophets. The ages came in with false prophets and they will go out with false prophets. Now of course there is going to be a REAL FALSE PROPHET in the grand sense of that man mentioned in the Revelation. But as of now before his revelation there are to appear many false prophets. Matthew 24:23-26, "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not." These false prophets are earmarked for us in various other Scriptures such as the following. II Peter 2:1-2, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord That bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." II Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." I Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Now in every case you will notice that a false prophet is one who is outside the Word. Just as we showed you that 'antichrist' means 'anti-Word' so these false prophets come perverting the Word, giving it a meaning that fits their own devilish ends. Have you ever noticed how the people who lead others astray bind them closely to themselves by fear? They say that if the people don't do what they say, or if they leave, then destruction will follow. They are false prophets, for a true prophet will always lead one to the Word and bind the people to Jesus Christ and he won't tell the people to fear him or what he says, but to fear what the Word says. Notice how these people like Judas are out for money. They get you to sell all you have and give it to them and their schemes. They spend more time on offerings than the Word. Those who attempt to operate gifts will make use of a gift which has a margin of error in it and then ask for money, and neglect the Word and call it of God. And people will go to them, and bear with them, and support them, and believe them, not knowing it is the way of death. Yes, the land is full of carnal impersonators. In that last day they will try to imitate that prophet-messenger. The seven sons of Sceva tried to imitate Paul. Simon the sorcerer tried to imitate Peter. Their impersonations will be carnal. They won't be able to produce what the true prophet produces. When he says the revival is over they will go around claiming a great revelation that what the people have is exactly right and God is going to do bigger and more wonderful things amongst the people. And the people will fall for it. These same false prophets will claim that the messenger of the last day is not a theologian, so he ought not to be heard. They won't be able to produce what the messenger can; they won't be vindicated by God as that last day prophet is, but with their great swelling words and with the weight of their world-wide notoriety they will warn the people not to hear that man (messenger) and they will say he teaches wrong. They are running exactly true to their fathers, the Pharisees, who were of the devil, for they claimed that both John and Jesus taught error.
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Now why do these false prophets come against the true prophet and discredit his teaching? Because they are running true to form as did their forefathers when in the days of Ahab they withstood Micaiah. There were four hundred of them and all of them were in agreement; and by them all saying the same thing, they fooled the people. But ONE prophet--just one--was right and all the rest wrong because God had committed the revelation to ONLY ONE.
Beware of false prophets, for they are ravening wolves.
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If you are still in any doubt about this ask God by His Spirit to fill you and lead you, FOR THE VERY ELECT CAN'T BE FOOLED. Did you get that? There isn't any man can fool you. Paul could not fool any elect, had he been wrong. And in that first Ephesian Age the elect there could not be fooled for they tried the false apostles and prophets and found them to be liars and put them out. Hallelujah. HIS sheep hear His voice and they follow HIM. Amen. I believe it.
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Revelation 3:14, "These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God."
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My, isn't that the most wonderful description of the attributes of our lovely Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? These words just make me want to shout. They bring such a spirit of reality into my heart. Just reading them without even waiting for a thorough revelation of the Spirit upon them thrills me.
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Jesus is giving us this description of Himself in relation to the last age. The days of grace are winding up. He has looked from the first century right through to the twentieth, and told us all things concerning these ages. Before He reveals the characteristics of the last age to us, He gives us one final look at His own gracious and supreme Deity. This is the capstone revelation of Himself.
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Thus saith the "AMEN". Jesus is the Amen of God. Jesus is the "So Let It Be" of God. Amen stands for finality. It stands for approval. It stands for prevailing promise. It stands for unchanging promise. It stands for the seal of God.
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I want you to watch this carefully now and see something really sweet and beautiful. I said this is His end-time revelation of Himself. When the day of grace closes, then the millennium comes very shortly thereafter, doesn't it? Well, read with me Isaiah 65:16-19. "That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from Mine eyes. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." This is about New Jerusalem. This is the millennium. But as we go into the millennium, hear what He says about being a certain kind of God, Verse 16, "That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth." Yes, that is true, but the real translation is not "God of truth". It is "God of the AMEN". So we read it, "shall bless himself in the God of the AMEN, and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of the AMEN; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from My eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create, for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her; nor the voice of crying," Hallelujah. Here is Jehovah of the Old Testament, "the God of the Amen". Here is Jesus of the New Testament, "the God of the Amen". Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord thy God is ONE God. There it is again, the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New. "Hear, Oh, Israel the Lord thy God is ONE God." The New Testament does not reveal ANOTHER God, it is a further revelation of the ONE AND SAME GOD. Christ did not come down to make Himself known. He did not come to reveal the Son. He came to reveal and make known the Father. He never talked about two Gods; He talked about ONE God. And now in this last age, we have come back to the capstone revelation, the most important revelation of Godhead in the whole Bible, that is, JESUS IS GOD, HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE: THERE IS ONE GOD, AND HIS NAME IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
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He is the God of the Amen. He never changes. What He does never changes. He says it, and it stands fast. He does it, and it is done forever. None can take from what He says or add to it. So let it be. Amen. So let it be. Aren't you glad that you serve that kind of a God? You can know exactly where you are with Him at any time and all the time. He is the AMEN God and won't change.
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"These things saith the AMEN." I like that. It means that whatever He said is final. It means that whatever He said to the first age and to the second and to all ages about His own true church and about the false vine is exactly right and it won't change. It means that what He started out with in Genesis, He will finish in Revelation. He has to for He is the Amen, SO LET IT BE. Now we can see again why the devil hates the Books of Genesis and Revelation. He hates the truth. He knows the truth will prevail. He knows what his end will be. How he fights that. But we are on the winning side. We (I mean the believers of His Word, only) are on the Amen side.
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"These things saith the Faithful and True Witness." Now I want to show you what I find in the thought of "faithful". You know we often talk about a great unchanging God, Whose Word does not change. And when we speak of Him after that manner we often get a view of Him that makes Him seem very impersonal. It is as though God made the whole universe and all the laws that pertain to it and then stood back and became a great impersonal God. It is as though God made a way of salvation for lost mankind, that way being the cross, and then when the death of Christ has atoned for our sins, and His resurrection gave us an open door to Him, God just folded His arms and stood back. It is as if we majored in believing in a great Creator, Who having created, lost personal interest in His creation. Now I say that is how too many people are apt to think. But that is wrong thinking, for God is GOVERNING IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN RIGHT NOW. HE IS BOTH CREATOR AND SUSTAINER. Colossians 1:16-17. "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." He is a Sovereign God. By His own counsel He purposed the plan of the salvation of His own elect which He foreknew. The Son died upon the cross to establish the means of Salvation and the Holy Spirit carefully executes the will of the Father. He is working all things at this moment according to the purpose of His own will. He is right in the midst of it all. He is in the midst of His church. This great Creator, Saviour-God is faithfully working amongst His own right now as the great Shepherd of the sheep. His very existence is for His own. He loves them and cares for them. His eye is ever upon them. When the Word says that "your lives are hid with Christ in God" it means exactly what it says. Oh, I am so glad that my God abides faithful. He is true to Himself, He won't lie. He is true to the Word, He will back it up. He is true to us, He will lose none of us, but raise us up in the last day. I am glad that I am resting in His faithfulness. Philippians 1:6. "Being confident of this very thing, that He Which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ."
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"He is the True Witness." Now this word, true, is the same word we saw back there in Revelation 3:7. You recall that it does not mean 'true' as in contrast with 'false.' It has a richer, deeper meaning by far. It expresses perfect realization in contrast to partial realization. Now back in the Philadelphian Age, the coming of the Lord was drawing nigh. What great love that age manifested for Him. It reminds me of those beautiful words of I Peter 1:8, "Whom having not seen ye love, in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." With them we rejoice also. We haven't seen Him, but we have felt Him. We know Him now as much as our limiting senses can let us. But one day it will be face to face. That is for this age. He is coming at the end of this age. Partial realization will be made PERFECT REALIZATION, COMPLETED REALIZATION. Hallelujah! We have been looking through a glass darkly, but soon it will be face to face. We have been going from glory to glory, but soon it will be right in the glory; and in HIS GLORY WE'LL SHINE. WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, WONDROUSLY LIKE HIM, JESUS OUR SAVIOUR DIVINE! Isn't that wonderful? We are complete in Him. That is true. He would not lie to us about that. But one day we will be changed in the atoms. We will put on immortality. We will be all swallowed up in life. Then we will REALIZE REALIZATION.
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"He is the Faithful and True Witness." Now we think of that word, 'witness.' Well, that word is the one we get the word 'martyr' from. The Bible speaks of Stephen and Antipas and others as martyrs. They were martyrs; they were also witnesses. Jesus was a faithful martyr. The Holy Ghost is the witness to that. The Spirit bears record of that. The world hated Jesus. It killed Him. But God loved Him and He went to the Father. The proof that He went to the Father is that the Holy Ghost came. If Jesus had not been received of the Father, the Spirit would not have come. Read it in John 16:7-11. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me: Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." The presence of the Holy Spirit in this world instead of Jesus being here, proves that Jesus was righteous and went to the Father. But it also says in John 14:18. "I will not leave you COMFORTLESS, I will come to you." He sent the Comforter. He WAS THE COMFORTER. He came back in SPIRIT upon the true church. He is the faithful and true WITNESS in the midst of the church. But one day He is going to come back in flesh again. He will prove then Who is the only wise potentate,--it is He, Jesus Christ the Lord of Glory.
Faithful and True Witness, Creator and Sustainer, Perfect Realization, the Amen of God.
Oh, how I love Him, how I adore Him, Jesus the Son of God.
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I want to close my thoughts on this part of the salutation with these words of II Corinthians 1:18-22. "But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who was preached among you by us, even by me and Sylvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in Him was yea. For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now He Which establisheth us with you in Christ and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."
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"The Beginning Of The Creation Of God." That is Who the Lord Jesus says He is. But those words don't mean exactly as they sound to us. Just taking them the way they sound has made some people (in fact multitudes of people) get the idea that Jesus was the first creation of God, making Him lower than Godhead. Then this first creation created all the rest of the universe and whatsoever it contains. But that is not right. You know that doesn't line up with the rest of the Bible. The words are, "He is the BEGINNER or AUTHOR of the creation of God." Now we know for a surety that Jesus is God, very God. He is the Creator. John 1:3 "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made." He is the One of Whom it is said, Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". Also it says in Exodus 20:11, "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day." See, there is no doubt that He is the Creator. He was the Creator of a FINISHED PHYSICAL CREATION.
Surely we can see what these words mean now. To have any other interpretation would mean that God created God. How could God be created when He, Himself, is the Creator?
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But now He is standing in the midst of the Church. As He stands there revealing Who He is in this last age, He calls Himself the "Author of the creation of God". This is ANOTHER CREATION. This has to do with the church. This is a special designation of Himself. He is the CREATOR of that church. The heavenly Bridegroom created his own bride. As the Spirit of God, He came down and created in the virgin Mary the cells from which His body was born. I want to repeat that. He created the very cells in the womb of Mary for that body. It was not enough for the Holy Spirit to simply give life to a human ovum supplied by Mary. That would have been sinful mankind producing a body. That would not have produced the "Last Adam". Of Him it was said "Lo a body hast Thou (Father) prepared for Me." God (not Mary) provided that body. Mary was the human incubator and she carried that Holy Child and brought Him to birth. It was a God-man. He was the Son of God. He was of the NEW creation. Man and God met and joined; He was the first of this new race. He is the head of this new race. Colossians 1:18, "And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence." II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things are become new." There you can see that though man was of the OLD ORDER or creation, now in UNION WITH CHRIST, he has become the NEW CREATION of God. Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship CREATED IN UNION WITH CHRIST JESUS unto good works." Ephesians 4:24, "And that ye put on the NEW MAN which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." This New Creation is not the old creation made over, or it could not be called a new creation. This is exactly what it says it is, "NEW CREATION". It is another creation, distinct from the old one. No longer is He dealing by ways of the flesh. That was how He dealt with Israel. He chose Abraham, and of Abraham's issue through the godly Isaac line. But now out of every kindred, tribe and nation He has purposed a new creation. He is the first of that creation. He was God created in the form of man. Now by His Spirit He is creating many Sons unto Himself. God the creator, creating Himself a part of His creation. This is the true revelation of God. This was His purpose. This purpose took form through election. That is why He could look right down to the last age when all would be over and see Himself still in the midst of the church, as author of this New Creation of God. His Sovereign power brought it to pass. By His own decree He elected the members of this New Creation. He predestinated them to the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His will. By His omniscience and omnipotence He brought it to pass. How else could He know that He would be standing in the midst of the church receiving glory from His brethren if He did not make sure? All things He knew, and all things He worked out according to what He knew in order that His purpose and good pleasure be brought to pass. Ephesians 2:11 "In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Hallelujah! Aren't you glad that you belong to Him!
Revelation 3:15-19 "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent."
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As we have read this together I am sure that you have noticed that the Spirit has not said one kind thing about this age. He makes two indictments and pronounces His sentence upon them.
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(1) Revelation 3:15,16 "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth."
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We are going to look at this carefully. It says that this Laodicean church age group is lukewarm. This lukewarmness demands a penalty from God. The penalty is that they will be spued out of His mouth. Here is where we don't want to go astray as a lot of folks do. They very unwisely say that God can spue you out of His mouth and that proves that there is no such thing as any truth to the doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints. I want to correct your thinking right now. This verse is not given to an individual. It is given to the church. He is talking to the church. Furthermore, if you will just keep the Word in mind you will recall that nowhere does it say that we are in the MOUTH of God. We are engraved on His palms. We are carried in His bosom. Way back in the unknown ages before time we were in His mind. We are in His sheepfold, and in His pastures, but never in His mouth. But what is in the mouth of the Lord? The Word is in His mouth. Matthew 4:4 "But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The Word is supposed to be in our mouths, too. Now we know that the church is His body. It is here taking His place. What will be in the mouth of the church? The WORD. I Peter 4:11 "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (Word) of God." II Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Then what is wrong with these people of the last day? THEY HAVE GOTTEN AWAY FROM THE WORD. THEY ARE NO LONGER FERVENT ABOUT IT. THEY ARE LUKEWARM ABOUT IT. I am going to prove that right now.
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The Baptists have their creeds and dogmas based on the Word and you can't shake them. They say the apostolic days of miracles are over and there is no Baptism with the Holy Ghost, subsequent to believing. The Methodists say (based on the Word) there is no water baptism (sprinkling is not baptism) and that sanctification is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. The Church of Christ majors in regenerational baptism and in all too many cases they go down dry sinners and come up wet ones. Yet they claim their doctrine is Word-based. Go right down the line and come to the Pentecostals. Do they have the Word? Give them the Word test and see. They will sell out the Word for a sensation just about every time. If you can produce a manifestation like oil and blood and tongues and other signs, whether in the Word or not, or whether properly interpreted from the Word, the majority will fall for it. But what has happened to the Word? The Word has been put aside, so God says, "I am going against you all. I will spue you out of My mouth. This is the end. For seven out of seven ages, I have seen nothing but men esteeming their own word above Mine. So at the end of this age I am spuing you out of My mouth. It is all over. I am going to speak all right. Yes, I am here in the midst of the Church. The Amen of God, faithful and true will reveal Himself and it will BE BY MY PROPHET." Oh yes, that is so. Revelation 10:7 "And in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." There it is. He is sending a vindicated prophet. He is sending a prophet after almost two thousand years. He is sending someone who is so far from organization, education, and the world of religion that as John the Baptist and Elijah of old, He will hear only from God and he will have "thus saith the Lord" and speak for God. He will be God's mouthpiece and HE, AS IT IS DECLARED IN MALACHI 4:6, WILL TURN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN BACK TO THE FATHERS. He will bring back the elect of the last day and they will hear a vindicated prophet give the exact truth as it was with Paul. He will restore the truth as they had it. And those elect with him in that day will be the ones who truly manifest the Lord and be His Body and be His voice and perform His works. Hallelujah! Do you see it?
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A momentary consideration of church history will prove how accurate this thought is. In the Dark Ages the Word was almost entirely lost to the people. But God sent Luther with the WORD. The Lutherans spoke for God at that time. But they organized, and again the pure Word was lost for organization tends toward dogma and creeds, and not simple Word. They could no longer speak for God. Then God sent Wesley, and he was the voice with the Word in his day. The people who took his revelation from God became the living epistles read and known of all men for their generation. When the Methodists failed, God raised up others and so it has gone on through the years until in this last day there is again another people in the land, who under their messenger will be the final voice to the final age.
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Yes sir. The church is no longer the "mouthpiece" of God. It is its own mouthpiece. So God is turning on her. He will confound her through the prophet and the bride, for the voice of God will be in her. Yes it is, for it says in the last chapter of Revelation verse 17 "The Spirit and the bride say come". Once more the world will hear direct from God as at Pentecost; but of course that Word Bride will be repudiated as in the first age.
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Now He has cried out to this last age, "You have the Word. You have more Bibles than ever, but you are not doing anything about the Word except dividing and hacking it into pieces, taking what you want and leaving out what you don't want. You are not interested in LIVING it, but debating it. I would sooner you were cold or hot. If you were cold and rejected it, I could stand that. If you would get white hot to know its truth and live it, I would praise you for that. But when you simply take My Word and don't honor it, I in return must refuse to honor you. I will spue you out for you nauseate Me."
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Now anybody knows that it is lukewarm water that makes you sick at the stomach. If you need an emetic, lukewarm water is about the best thing to drink. A lukewarm church has made God sick and He has declared He will spue it out. Reminds us how He felt just before the flood, doesn't it?
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Oh, would to God the church were cold or hot. Best of all, she should be fervent (hot). But she is not. Sentence has been passed. She is no longer God's voice to the world. She will maintain that she is, but God says not.
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Oh, God still has a voice for the people of the world, even as He has given a voice to the bride. That voice is in the bride as we have said and we will talk more about that later.
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(2) Revelation 3:17-18, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable and poor, and blind and naked; I counsel thee to buy of Me, gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
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Now look at the first phrase of this verse, "because thou sayest". See, they were speaking. They were talking as the mouthpiece of God. This proves exactly what I said verses 16-17 meant. But though they say it, that does not make it right. The Catholic Church says she speaks for God, saying she is the assured voice of the Lord. How any people can be so spiritually wicked is more than I know, but they produce according to the seed which is in them, and we know where that seed came from, don't we?
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The Laodicean church is saying, "I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." That was her self-estimate. She looked at herself and that is what she saw. She said, "I am rich," which means that she is wealthy in the things of this world. She is boasting in the face of James 2:5-7, "Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy Name by the which ye are called?" Now I do NOT suggest that a rich person cannot be Spiritual, but we all know that the Word says very few are. It is the poor that predominate in the body of the true church. Now then, if the church becomes full of wealth, we know only one thing; "Ichabod" has been written over her portals! You can't deny that, for that is the Word.
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Talk about wealth in the church--why there never has been such a show of wealth. The beautiful sanctuaries are multiplied in number as never before. The various groups vie with each other to see who can build the biggest and the loveliest. And they build education centers worth unestimated millions, and those buildings are used only an hour or two a week. Now that would not be such a terrible thing, but they expect this little time spent by the children in the education plant to take the place of the hours of training supposed to be given in the home.
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Money has poured into the church until different denominations own stocks and bonds, factories, oil wells, and insurance companies. They have poured money into welfare and retirement funds. Now this sounds good, but it has become a snare to the ministers, for if they decide to leave their group for more light or the love of God, their pensions are lost to them. Most can't stand this and stay with their pressure groups.
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Now don't forget that this is the last age. We know that this is the last age because Israel has gone back to Palestine. If we believe that He really is coming, then there must be something wrong with those who are building so vastly. It makes one think that these people plan on staying here forever, or that the coming of Jesus is hundreds of years off.
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Do you know that religion today is known as big business? It is an absolute fact that they are placing business managers in the churches to take care of finances. Is this what God desires? Did not His Word teach us in the Book of Acts that seven men full of the Holy Ghost and faith served the Lord in business matters? You can surely see why God said, "YOU say you are wealthy; I never said so."
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There are radio programs, television programs, and numerous church endeavors that are costing millions and millions of dollars. Wealth pours and pours into the church, the membership increases along with the money, yet the work is not being done as it was done when there was no money, but men rested solely on the ability given them by the Holy Ghost.
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There are paid preachers, paid assistants, paid ministers of music and education, paid choirs, paid custodians, programs, and entertainment--all costing great sums, but for all that, the power is decreasing. Yes, the church is rich, but the power is not there. God moves by His Spirit, not by the amount of money or talent in the church.
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Now I want to show you how diabolical this urge for money has become. The churches have gone all out to get a membership, especially of the wealthy. Everywhere there is the cry to make religion so attractive and appealing that the rich and cultured and all who have worldly prestige will come in and be active in the church. Can't they understand that if wealth is the criterion of spirituality, then the world already has God, has all of God, and the church has nothing?
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"Thou sayest I am increased with goods." This literally means 'I have Spiritual riches.' This sounds like the millennium with streets of gold and the presence of God. But I wonder if this is so. Is the church truly rich in the Spiritual things of God? Let us examine this Twentieth-Century Laodicean boast in the light of the Word.
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If the church were truly Spiritually rich, its influence would be felt upon community life. But exactly what kind of lives are these so-called spiritual and influential men of the community living? Out in suburbia, out in the better class districts, there abounds wife-swapping, prostitution, and bands of children crashing parties, exacting a terrible toll in property damage. Immorality has reached an all-time high in promiscuous sex acts, narcotic addiction, gambling, stealing, and all kinds of evil. And the church goes on claiming how fine is this generation, how full are the churches and how responsive are even the natives on the mission fields. The church has turned the people over to the doctors, especially the psychiatrists. How it can prate about being rich Spiritually is more than I know. It isn't true. They are bankrupt and don't know it.
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Take a good look around you. Examine the people as they walk by. In the multitudes you see, can you pick out those that have the appearance of Christians? Watch how they dress, watch how they act, hear what they say, see where they go. Surely there ought to be some real evidence of the new birth amongst all those we see go by. But few there be. Yet today the fundamental churches are telling us they have millions saved and even Spirit-filled. Spirit-filled? Can you call women Spirit-filled who go around with frizzy bobbed hair, shorts and slacks, halters and briefs, all painted up like Jezebel? If these are adorned in modest apparel as becometh Christian women, I would hate to think what it would be like if I had to witness a display of immodesty.
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Now I know that the women don't set the styles. Hollywood does that. But listen ladies, they still sell yard goods and sewing machines. You don't have to buy what's in the stores and then use that as an excuse. This is a deadly serious matter that I am going into. Have you not read in Scripture that when a man looks on a woman and lusts after her in his heart, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart? And suppose you dressed in such a way as to cause that? That makes you his partner in sin, even though you would be absolutely unaware of it, being a true virgin with no such desires. Yet God holds you accountable and you will be judged.
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Now I know you ladies don't like this kind of preaching, but sister, you are dead wrong in what you are doing. The Bible forbids you to cut your hair. God gave it for a covering. He gave a command for you to wear it long. It is your glory. When you cut your hair you signified that you left the headship of your husband. Like Eve you walked out and went on your own. You got the vote. You took men's jobs. You left off being females. You ought to repent and come back to God. And if all this wasn't bad enough, a whole lot of you took the idea that you could invade the pulpits and the church offices that God reserved for men and for men only. Oh, I touched a sore spot then didn't I? Well, show me one place in the Bible that God ever ordained any woman to preach or take authority over a man, and I will apologize for what I have said. You can't find that I am wrong. I am right, for I stand with the Word and in the Word. If you were Spiritually rich you would know that is true. There is nothing true but the Word. Paul said, "I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man." You can't possibly take a place amongst the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4 and not take authority over men. Sister, you had better listen to that Word. It was not the Spirit of God manifesting in a Spirit-filled life that told you to preach because the Spirit and the Word are ONE. They say the same thing. Somebody made a mistake. Somebody was fooled. Wake up before it is too late. Satan fooled Eve, your mother; he is fooling the daughters now. May God help you.
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"I have need of nothing." Now when anybody says, "I have need of nothing," he could very well be saying, "I have everything", or he could be saying, "I don't want any more as I am full now". You can express this any way you want, and it all adds up to the fact that the church is complacent. She is satisfied with what she has. She either figures she has it all or has enough. And that is exactly what we find today. What denomination is not claiming that IT has the revelation and the power and the truth? Listen to the Baptists, and they have it all. Listen to the Methodists, and they have it all. Listen to the Church of Christ and everyone is wrong but them. Hear what the Pentecostals say and they have the fulness of the fulness. Now they know I am telling the truth about them, for not one of their manuals say any different. They wrote it all out just so nice and put their names to it and finished it all up. God just doesn't have any more. And there are those who just don't want any more. They do not believe in healing and would not want it, although it is in the Word. There are those who would not take the Holy Spirit if God opened the heavens and showed them a sign.
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Now they are all saying, and trying to prove that they have it all, or they have enough. Yet is that the truth? Compare this twentieth century church to the first century church. Go ahead. Do that. Where is the power? Where is the love? Where is the purified church that withstood sin and walked with faith toward Jesus? Where is the unity? You can't find it. If this church has all it needs, why were they crying out for more of God in the Book of Acts as though they didn't have it all, and yet they had far more than they have today?
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Now what God saw was entirely different from what they said they saw. They said that they were rich in goods and Spiritually wealthy. They had arrived. They had need of nothing. But God saw it otherwise. He said, "You don't know this, but you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked." Now when a people are that way, especially naked and DON'T KNOW IT, there has to be something awfully wrong. Surely something must be happening. Is it not that God has blinded their eyes as He did to the Jews? Is the Gospel going back to the Jews? Is history repeating itself? I say it is.
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God says this church of the Laodicean Age is "wretched". That word comes from two Greek words which mean 'endure' and 'trial.' And it has nothing to do with the trials that come to a true Christian for God describes a Christian in trial as "blessed" and his attitude one of joy whereas this description is phrased as "wretched and miserable". How strange. In this age of plenty, in this age of progress, in this age of abundance, how can there be trials? Well now, it is strange; but in this age of plenty and opportunity, when everyone has so much and there is so much more to be had, what with all the inventions to do our work and so many things to give us pleasure, SUDDENLY, we find mental illness taking such a toll as to alarm the nation. When everybody ought to be happy, with really nothing to be unhappy about, millions are taking sedatives at night, pep pills in the morning, rushing to doctors, entering institutions, and trying to drown out unknown fears by alcohol. Yes, this age boasts of its tremendous stores of worldly goods, but the people are less happy than ever. This age boasts of its spiritual attainments, but the people are less sure of themselves than ever. This age boasts of better moral values and it is more corrupt than any age since the flood. It talks about its knowledge and science, but it is fighting a losing battle in all fields, for the human mind and soul and spirit cannot comprehend or keep abreast with all the changes that have come upon the earth. In one generation we have gone all the way from the horse and buggy age to the space age, and we are proud and boastful about it; but inside is a dark void cavern that is crying out in torment, and WITHOUT A KNOWN REASON men's hearts are failing for fear and the world is so darkened that this age could well be called the age of neurotics. It boasts, but it cannot back it up. It cries peace, and there is no peace. It cries that it has a great amplitude of all things, but it keeps burning with desire like an unsatisfied fire! "There is no peace," saith my God to the wicked.
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"They are miserable." That means that they are objects to be pitied. Pitied? They scorn pity. They are full of pride. They vaunt what they have. But what they have will not stand the test of time. They have built upon quicksand rather than the rock of the revelation of God's Word. Soon cometh the earthquake. Soon there will come the storms of the wrath of God in judgment. Then comes sudden destruction, and in spite of all their carnal preparation they will still be unprepared for what comes upon the earth. They are those who in spite of all their worldly efforts are actually opposing themselves and don't know it. Objects of pity are they indeed. Pity the poor people who are in this last day ecumenical move, for they call it the move of God, when it is of Satan. Pity those who do not know the curse of organization. Pity those who have so many beautiful churches, such lovely parsonages, such grandly trained choirs, such a show of wealth and such a sedate and reverent form of worship. Pity them, don't envy them. Back to the old store buildings, back to the dimly-lit rooms, back to the cellars, back to less of the world and more of God. Pity those who make their great claims, and talk about their gifts. Feel for them as objects of pity, for soon they will be objects of wrath.
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"They are poor." Now of course that means Spiritually poor. The sign of this age as it closes, is bigger and better churches, with more and more people, with more and more manifestation of what is supposed to be demonstrations of the Holy Ghost. But the filled altars, the gifts of the Spirit in operation, the remarkable attendance is not the answer from God, for those who come to the altars very seldom stay to go on with God, and after the great campaigns are finished, where are all those who came down the aisles? They heard a man, they listened to an appeal, they came into the net, but they were not fish, and turtle-like they crawled back to their own waters.
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Then there is all this talk about the glossalalia--it is supposed to be the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and people are thinking that we are in the midst of a great revival. The revival is over. America had her last chance in 1957. Now the tongues are God's sign of impending disaster, even as they were when they appeared upon the wall at Belshazzar's feast. Don't you know that many are going to come in the last day and say, "Lord, Lord, have we not done many wonderful works in Thy Name, even to the casting out of devils?" And He will say, "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. I never knew you." Matthew 7:22-23. Jesus said they were workers of iniquity. Yet, you get a man that can come and pray for the sick, get oil and blood appearing in the congregation, prophecy coming forth and all manner of the supernatural, and the people will gather round him, and swear that he is of the Lord, even though he is actually making a money racket of religion and living in sin. The only answer they have is the absolutely unbiblical answer of "well, he gets results, so he must be of God." How terrible. How actually poor this age is in the Spirit of God, and the poor poverty-stricken ones don't even know it.
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"You are blind and naked." Now this is really desperate. How can anyone be blind and naked and not know it? Yet it says that they are blind and naked and can't perceive it. The answer is, they are spiritually blind, and spiritually naked. Do you remember when Elisha and Gehazi were surrounded by the army of the Syrians? You recall that Elisha smote them blind by the power of God. Yet their eyes were wide open and they could see where they were going. The blindness was peculiar in that they could see certain things, but other certain things such as Elisha and the servant and the camp of Israel they could not see. What this army could see did not avail for them. What they did not see brought on their captivity. Now what does this mean to us? It means exactly what it meant back there in the earthly ministry of Jesus. He tried to teach them truth, but they would not listen. John 9:40-41. "And some of the Pharisees which were with Him heard these words, and said unto Him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." The attitude of this age is exactly what it was then. People have it all. They know it all. They cannot be taught. If a point of truth from the Word comes up and a man tries to explain his view to one with an opposing view, the listener is not at all listening that he might learn, but is listening only to refute what is being said. Now I want to ask a fair question. Can Scripture fight Scripture? Does the Bible contradict the Bible? Can there be two doctrines of truth in the Word that say the opposite or oppose the other? NO. IT CANNOT BE SO. Yet how many of God's people have their eyes open to that truth? Not even one percent, as far as I know, have learned that ALL Scripture is given by God and ALL is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, etc. If all Scripture is thusly given, then every verse will dovetail if given a chance. But how many believe in predestination unto election and reprobation unto destruction? Those who don't, will they listen? No, they will not. Yet both are in the Word, and nothing will change it. But to learn about it and reconcile the truth of those doctrines with other truths that seem to oppose, they will not take the time. But they stop their ears, and gnash with their teeth, and they lose out. At the end of this age a prophet will come, but they will be blind to all that he is doing and saying. They are so sure they are right, and in their blindness they will lose it all.
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Now God says they are naked as well as blind. I cannot imagine anything as tragic as a man who is blind and naked and does not know it. There is only one answer--he is out of his mind. He is already deep in oblivion. His faculties are gone, spiritual amnesia has set in. What else can it mean? Can it mean that the Holy Spirit has taken His leave of this last day church? Can it mean that men have put God out of their minds to such an extent that it is happening even as stated in Romans 1:28. "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." It surely appears that something like that has happened. Here is a people who say that they are of God and know God and have His Holy Spirit, and yet they are naked and blind and don't know it. They are ALREADY DECEIVED. THEY HAVE THE WRONG SPIRIT. THE ELECT CANNOT BE DECEIVED, BUT IT IS EVIDENT THAT THESE OTHERS ARE. These are they who have become blind because they refused the Word of God. These are they who have stripped themselves naked by leaving God's care and protection and sought to build their own way of salvation, their own tower of Babel by organization. Oh, how lovely and beautiful dressed they appear in their own eyes as they formed their general assembles, and their councils, etc. But now God is stripping it all away and they are naked, for these organizations have but led them into the camp of antichrist, into the field of tares, right up to their binding and burning. Objects of pity indeed they are. Yes, pity them, warn them, beseech them, and still they go their way headlong to destruction, wrathfully turning away any and all attempts to save them as brands from the burning. Miserable indeed they are, yet they know it not. Calloused and beyond hope, they glory in what is actually their shame. Defiant against the Word, yet one day they shall be judged by it and pay the price of its awful indictments.
The Final Counsel Of The Ages
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Revelation 3:18-19. "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
The counsel of God is terse. It is to the point. He directs this last day church to one hope. That hope is HIMSELF. He says, "Come to Me and buy." It is evident from this phrase "buy of Me" that the Laodicean church is not at all dealing with Jesus for the Spiritual products of the Kingdom of God. Their transactions cannot be Spiritual. They may think that they are Spiritual, but how can they be? The works in their midst are definitely not as Paul would say, "God in you willing and doing of His own good pleasure." Philippians 2:13. Thus what about all these churches, schools, hospitals, missionary ventures, etc.? God is not in them as long as they are denominational seed and spirit, and not the Seed and Spirit of God.
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"Buy of Me, gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich." Now these people had plenty of gold, but it was the wrong kind. It was that gold that bought men's lives and destroyed them. It was the gold that warped and twisted human character, for its love was the root of all evil. Revelation 18:1-14, "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine: and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God Who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city, for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all." This is exactly the organized churches of the last day, for it says in verse 4, "Come out of her MY PEOPLE". The rapture has not yet taken place. The bride is not yet gone when these terrible conditions in this rich, false church exist.
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But, there is a gold of God. I Peter 1:7. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth." The gold of God is a Christ-like character produced in the fiery furnace of affliction. That is the right kind of gold.
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But what kind of gold does the church have today? It has but the worldly gold that will perish. It is rich. It is complacent. It has made affluence the major criterion of spirituality. The evidence of God's blessing and the correctness of doctrine, etc. is now based upon how many rich folks are involved in it.
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"You had better come before it is too late," saith the Lord, "and buy of Me gold tried in the fire and then you will be truly rich." Are we getting it? Listen to me, "Naked (physically) we came into the world, but naked (spiritually) we will NOT leave it." Oh no, we are going to take something with us. What that something is, is ALL we can take with us, nothing less and nothing more. So we had better be real careful now to see that we take something that will make us right before God. So, then, what will we take with us? We will take our CHARACTER, brother, that is what we will take with us. Now what kind of character will you take with you? Will it be like HIS Whose character was molded by suffering in the fiery furnace of affliction, or will it be the softness of this character-less Laodicean people? It is up to each one of us, for in that day every man will bear his own burden.
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Now, I said that the city of Laodicea was a wealthy city. It minted gold coins with inscriptions on both sides. Gold coins characterized the age--a flourishing commerce existed because of it. Today, the two-headed gold coin is with us. We buy ourselves out and we buy ourselves in. In the church, we attempt to accomplish the same. We buy ourselves out of sin and buy ourselves into heaven--or so we say. But God does not say that.
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The church owns such phenomenal wealth, that at any given time she can take over the entire world system of commerce, and indeed a leader in the World Council of Churches has openly prophesied that the church in the foreseeable future should, could, and will do just that. But their golden tower of Babel shall fall. Only the gold tried in the fire shall endure.
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And that is what the church has constantly done through the ages. She has left the Word of God and taken her own creeds and dogmas; she has organized and joined herself to the world. Thus is she naked, and God is judging her lewdness. The only way she can get out of this dread situation is by obeying the Lord to come back to His Word. Revelation 18:4, "Come out of her My people." II Corinthians 6:14-18. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." There is a price to pay for those garments, and that is the price of separation.
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"And anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mightest see." He does not say that you have to buy this eyesalve. Oh no. There is no price tag on the Holy Spirit. "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?" Galatians 3:2. Without the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, you can never have your eyes opened to a true Spiritual revelation of the Word. A man without the Spirit is blind to God and His truth.
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When I think of this eyesalve opening people's eyes, I can't help but recall when I was a little boy in Kentucky. My brother and I slept in the attic on a straw pallet. The cracks in the house would let the drafts blow through. Sometimes in the winter it would get so cold we would wake up in the morning with such colds in our eyes that our eyes would be shut tight with inflammation. We would cry out to mother, and up she would come with some hot coon grease and rub our eyes until the hardened matter was gone, and then we could see. You know there have been some awful cold drafts blowing on the church in this generation, and I'm afraid her eyes have sort of frozen shut and she is blind to what God has for her. She needs some hot oil of the Spirit of God to open her eyes. Unless she receives the Spirit of God she will go on substituting program for power and creed for Word. She counts numbers for success, rather than to look for fruit. The doctors of theology have shut the door to faith and forbade all to enter. They neither go in, nor let anyone else go in. Their theology comes out of a text book on psychology written by some unbeliever. There is a text book on psychology, one we all need; it is the Bible. It is written by God and contains God's psychology. You don't need any doctor to explain it to you. Receive ye the Holy Spirit and let Him do the explaining. He wrote the Book and He can tell you what is in it and what it means. I Corinthians 2:9-16 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
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Now if all the things that the Spirit is crying out against are true of this age, we need someone to come on the scene as did John the Baptist and challenge the church as never before. And that is exactly what is coming to our age. Another John the Baptist is coming and he will cry out exactly as did the first forerunner. We know that he will because of what the next verse says.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent." Revelation 3:19. This is the same message that John had as he cried out in that religious wilderness of Pharisees, Sadducees, and heathen, "REPENT!" There was no other course then; there is no other course now. There was no other way to get back to God then, and there is no other way now. It is REPENT. Change your mind. Turn around. REPENT, for why will ye die?
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Let us examine the first phrase, "as many as I love". In the Greek the emphasis is upon the personal pronoun "I". He does not say as many would feel He should say, "as many as love ME". No sir. We must never try to make Jesus the OBJECT of human love in this verse. No! It is the MANY that are the LOVED ONES of God. It is HIS love, in question, NOT ours. So once again we find ourselves glorying in His salvation, His purpose and His plan, and we are confirmed even more strongly in the truth of the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. Even as He said in Romans 9:13. "Jacob have I loved." Does it now obtain that since He loved ONLY the MANY, is He therefore in a state of complacency, awaiting the love of those who have not drawn nigh Him? By no means is this so, for He declared also in Romans 9:13, "Esau have I hated." And in verse 11 the Spirit boldly calls out, "For the children not being born, neither having done any good or evil, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND, not of works, but of Him that calleth." This love is "Elective Love". It is His love for His elect. And His love for them is apart from HUMAN MERIT for it says that the purpose of God stands in election which is exactly opposite to works or anything man has in himself. Because "BEFORE THE CHILDREN WERE BORN" He had ALREADY said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
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And now He says to His own, "As many as I love, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN." To rebuke is to reprove. To reprove is to 'expose with a view to correction.' Chasten does not mean to punish. It means to "discipline because the subject's amendment is in mind." This is exactly what we find in Hebrews 12:5-11, "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
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Herein is now set forth the love of God. He desired in love a family of His own, a family of sons--sons like Himself. There before Him lies all mankind as ONE lump of clay. Out of that same lump He will now make vessels unto honor and unto dishonor. The CHOOSING will be His own choosing. Then those chosen ones, born of His Spirit will be trained to conform to His image in their walk. He REPROVES with all long-suffering and gentleness and mercy. He CHASTENS with nail scarred hands. Sometimes this Potter must take the vessel He is working on and thoroughly break it down in order that He may rebuild it exactly as He desires it. BUT IT IS LOVE. THAT IS HIS LOVE. ANOTHER WAY OF HIS LOVE THERE IS NOT. THERE CANNOT BE.
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Oh, little flock, do not fear. This age is fast closing. As it does those tares will be bound together, and as a three-fold cord is not easily broken, they will have a tremendous three-fold strength of political, physical, and spiritual (Satanical) power, and they will seek to destroy the bride of Christ. She will suffer, but she will endure. Fear not those things that are coming upon the earth, for He "Who loved His own, loveth them unto the end." John 13:1.
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"Be zealous and repent." Now this false church has zeal; make no mistake about that. Her zeal has literally been that of the Jews, John 2:17, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten Me up." But it is a wrong zeal. It is for the house of their own building. It is for their own creeds, dogmas, organizations, their own righteousness. They have put the Word out for their own ideas. They deposed the Holy Ghost and made men into leaders. They have put aside Eternal Life as a Person, and make it good works, or even church conformity rather than good works.
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But God is calling for another zeal. It is the zeal to cry "I AM WRONG". Now who is going to say that he is wrong? What is it that all these denominations are based upon?--the claim to originality, and that of God,--the claim that they are right. Now they ALL cannot be right. In fact NOT ONE of them is right. They are whited sepulchres, full of dead men's bones. They have no life. They have no vindication. God has never made Himself known in any organization. They say they are right because they are the ones that are saying it, but saying it does not make it so. They need the vindicated "Thus saith the Lord" of God, and they don't have it.
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Now let me say this here. I don't believe that God is calling only to the false church to repent. In this verse He is talking to His elect. They have some repenting to do, too. Many of His children are still in those false churches. They are those of whom it speaks in Ephesians 5:14, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." To be asleep is not to be dead. These are sleeping amongst the dead. They are out there in the dead denominations. They are floating along with them. God cries out, "WAKE UP! Repent of your folly." Here they are lending their influence, giving their time and their money, actually their very lives to these antichrist organizations, and all the while thinking it is all right. They need to repent. They must repent. They need to have a change of mind and turn toward truth.
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Yes, this is the age that most needs to repent. But will it? Will it bring back the Word? Will it again enthrone the Holy Spirit in men's lives? Will it again revere Jesus as the ONLY Saviour? I say not, for the next verse reveals the astounding and shocking truth of the close of this age.
Christ Outside The Church
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Revelation 3:20-22, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
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Now there is a great deal of confusion over this verse because so many personal workers use it in personal evangelism as though Jesus were at the heart's door of every sinner knocking for admission. It would then be said that if the sinner opened the door, the Lord would come in. But this verse is not talking to individual sinners. This whole message has a summation as does every message in every age. In verse 22 it says, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the CHURCHES." So this is the message to the church of the last age. This is the condition of the Laodicean church as its end nears. It is not a personal message to one person; it is the Spirit telling us where Jesus is. CHRIST HAS LEFT THE CHURCH. Is this not the logical result or end if the Word is put aside for creed, the Holy Spirit deposed for popes, bishops, presidents, counselors, etc., and the Saviour set aside for a works program, or church joining, or some type of conformity to a church system? What more can be done against Him? This is the apostasy! This is the falling away! This is the open door to antichrist, for if One came in His Father's Name (Jesus) and was not received, but rejected, then there will come another with his own name (liar, a pretender) and him they will receive, John 5:43. The man of sin, that son of perdition will take over.
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Matthew 24, mentions signs in the heavens concerning this last day just before Jesus comes. I wonder if you noticed such a sign recently fulfilled as to portray the very truth we have been discussing. That truth is that Jesus has been steadily pushed aside until in the last age He is pushed outside the church. Recall that in the first age it was almost a full orbed church of truth. Yet there was a little error called the deeds of the Nicolaitanes that kept the circle from being full. Then in the next age more darkness crept in until the ball of light glowed less, and darkness covered more of the circle. In the third age it was eclipsed still more, and in the fourth age which was the Dark Ages, the light had all but gone. Now think on this. The church shines in the reflected light of Christ. He is the SUN. The church is the MOON. Thus this orb of light is the moon. It had decreased from almost a full moon in the first age, to a sliver in the fourth age. But in the fifth age it began to grow. In the sixth it took a great step of growth forward. In part of the seventh age it was still growing, when suddenly it stopped short, and waned to almost a nothingness, so that instead of light it was the blackness of apostasy, and at the end of the age it had ceased to shine for darkness had taken over. Christ was now outside the church. Here is the sign in the sky. The last eclipse of the moon was a total eclipse. It waned to a total darkness in seven stages. In the seventh stage, the total darkness came as the Pope of Rome (Paul the Sixth) went to Palestine to make a holy tour of Jerusalem. He was the first pope to ever go to Jerusalem. The pope is named Paul the Sixth. Paul was the first messenger and this man goes by that name. Notice it is the sixth, or the number of man. This is more than a coincidence. And when he went to Jerusalem, the moon or the church went into total darkness. This is it. This is the end. This generation shall not pass away until all be fulfilled. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly!
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Now we can see why there were two vines, one true and one false. Now we can see why Abraham had two sons, one after the flesh (the persecuted Isaac) and one after promise. Now we can see how that out of the same parents two boys came forth as twins, one knowing and loving the things of God, and the other knowing much of the same truth, but not of the same Spirit, and hence persecuted the child that was elect. God did not reprobate for the sake of reprobation. He reprobated for the sake of the elect. ELECT CANNOT persecute elect. ELECT CANNOT harm elect. It is the reprobates that persecute and destroy the elect. Oh, those reprobates are religious. They are smart. They are of the Cain line, the serpent seed. They build their Babels, they build their cities, they build their empires, and all the while calling on God. They hate the true seed, and they will do all they can, (even in the Name of the Lord) to destroy God's elect ones. But they are needed. "What is the chaff to the wheat?" No chaff, no wheat. But at the end, what happens to the chaff? It is burned with fire unquenchable. And the wheat? Where is it? It is gathered in His garner. It is where He is.
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Oh elect of God, beware. Study closely. Be careful. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Rely upon God and be strong in His might. Your adversary, the devil, is even now going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Watch unto prayer and be steadfast. This is the end time. Both the true and false vine are coming into maturity, but before the wheat matures, those ripened tares must be bound for the burning. See, they are all joining the World Council Of Churches. That is the binding. Soon the garnering of the wheat will come. But right now the two spirits are at work in two vines. Come out from among the tares. Start to overcome that you may be considered praiseworthy for your Lord, and fit to reign and rule with Him.
The Overcomer's Throne
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Revelation 3:21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne."
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Now what are we to overcome? That is the normal question to ask here. But that is not the actual thought of this verse for it is not so much WHAT we are to overcome but HOW we are to overcome. Now this is logical, for does it matter much WHAT we are to overcome as long as we know HOW we can overcome?
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A quick look at those Scriptures which involve the Lord Jesus overcoming will bring out the truth of this proposition. In Matthew 4, wherein Jesus is tempted of the devil, He overcame the personal temptations of Satan by the Word, and by the Word only. In each of the three major trials that corresponded exactly to the temptation of the Garden of Eden, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, Jesus overcame by the Word. Eve fell to the personal temptation of Satan by failing to use the Word. Adam fell in direct disobedience to the Word. But Jesus overcame by the Word. And right now, let me say that this is the only way to be an overcomer, also it is the only way that you can know if you are overcoming, because that Word CAN'T fail.
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Now notice again how Jesus overcame the world systems of religion. When He was repeatedly badgered by the theologians of His day, He constantly applied the Word. He spake only what the Father gave Him to speak. There was not a time when the world was not utterly confused by His wisdom for it was the wisdom of God.
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In his own personal life, contending with Himself, He overcame by obedience to the Word of God. In Hebrews 5:7 it says, "Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto 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; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." What was He obedient to? The Word of God.
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Now then, there will not be one person who will sit in the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ unless he has been living that Word. Your prayers, your fastings, your repentances--no matter what you present to God--none of that will gain you the privilege of sitting in that throne. It will be granted only to the WORD Bride. As the throne of the king is shared with the queen because she is united to him, so only they who are of that Word even as He is of that Word will share that throne.
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Remember we have shown clearly all through the ages that even as Adam and Eve fell because they left the Word, so the Ephesian Age fell by turning slightly from the Word, until with every age continuing to turn away, we have a final repudiation of the Word by the World Church system. This Laodicean Age ends in a blackout of the Word, thereby causing a departure of the Lord from the midst. He stands outside calling to His own who follow Him by obedience to the Word. After a short and powerful demonstration of the Spirit this little hunted and persecuted group will go to be with Jesus.
The Consummation Of The Gentile Ages
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This age is the last of the seven church ages. What began in the first or Ephesian Age must and will come to full fruition and harvest in the last or Laodicean Age. The two vines will yield their final fruit. The two spirits will terminate their manifestation in each of their final destinations. The sowing, the watering, the growing is all over. Summer is ended. The sickle is now thrust into the harvest.
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In verses 15 to 18 which we have just studied lies the true picture of the ripened false vine, false spirit, false church people. "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear: and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." No words ever spelled out a more bitter denunciation, and no proud and arrogant religious people ever deserved it more. Yet in verse 21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne," we find the true vine, true Spirit, true Church people exalted to the very throne of God with the highest compliment ever paid to a humble, steadfast Spiritual group.
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The words of John the Baptist who so accurately set forth the Christ in relationship to the true and false church now comes to pass. Matthew 3:11-12, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He That cometh after me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Christ, the Great Harvester, is now reaping the fruit of the earth. He gathers the wheat into the garner by coming for His own and receiving them forever unto Himself. Then He returns to destroy the wicked with fire unquenchable.
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The mystery of the tares and wheat of Matthew 13:24-30, is now also fulfilled. "Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into My barn."
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The wheat and the tares, which from the first age until now have grown side by side, are harvested. What Nicaea set out to accomplish has finally come to pass. With all the might of organization the false church turns from any vestige of truth and with political might reinforces herself with state backing and sets out to eradicate forever the true believer. But just when she is about to accomplish her cowardly plot the wheat is gathered into the garner. No longer will the wheat and tares grow side by side. No longer will the tares receive of the blessing of God because of the presence of the wheat, for the wheat will be gone and the wrath of God will be poured out in the sixth seal which will end in the utter destruction of the wicked.
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Now I said a moment ago that the false vine came into full fruition in this age. Her fruit would mature and ripen. That is correct. This evil-spirited church, full of iniquity, will be revealed as the mustard seed that grew into a tree wherein lodged the fouls of the air. At her head will be the antichrist, the mystery of iniquity. All this is true. And if this is true, then it must also be true that the Bride Church will mature, and her ripeness shall be an identification with her Lord by means of the Word, and her Head Who will come to her is the Mystery of Godliness, Which indeed is Christ. And as the false church with all cunning and diabolical power made up of political force, physical force and demons of darkness come against this true vine, the true vine with the fullness of the Spirit and the Word will do the very acts of power that Jesus did. Then as she nears her Headstone, becoming like Him through the Word, Jesus will come that the bride and Groom may be forever united as one.
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Already the visible manifestations of what I have been telling you are seen all around us. The ecumenical move of the tares is factual. But also it is a fact that the prophet for the last age must be bringing forth a message from God that will forerun the second coming of the Lord, for by his message will the hearts of the children be turned back to the Pentecostal fathers, and with the restoration of the Word will come the restoration of the power.
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What crucial times are these in which we live. How careful we must be that we remain true to this Word and not take from it or add to it, for he who would speak where God has not spoken makes Him a liar. What I have particularly in mind is this: About the turn of the century the hunger for God that was generated in the Philadelphian Age brought a cry for the Spirit of God. And when the cry was answered by God sending forth manifestation in tongues, interpretation and prophecy, a group immediately, and most contrary to the Word, drew up a doctrine that tongues was the evidence of being baptized with the Holy Ghost. Tongues were far from evidence. They were manifestation, but not evidence. The falsity of the doctrine can not only be seen by a lack of Scripture to substantiate it, but those who subscribed to the doctrine immediately organized on the basis of the doctrine, proving that they were not in the truth as they would have people believe. Oh, it looked good. It looked like the return of Pentecost. But it proved it wasn't. It could not be, for it organized. That is death, not life. It looked so close to the real that multitudes were deceived. Now if it wasn't the genuine, what was it? It was the husk, the chaff. In the green, soft sheath-form it looked like it was the real thing. But as one can go into the field and see what looks exactly like wheat and yet is only the husk, (for the wheat seed has not yet formed) so this was but the soft shell that looked like the real grain yet to come. The original wheat seed of Pentecost was to come back in the last age. It had been buried at Nicaea. It sent up a shoot at Sardis. It grew a tassel at Philadelphia, and it was to mature at Laodicea. But it could not be back to the original until the Word was restored. The prophet had not yet come upon the scene. But now according to the time wherein we stand in the Laodicean Age, the 'Prophet-messenger' of Revelation 10:7 must already be in the land. Once more "Thus saith the Lord" must be here, ready to be manifested with infallible vindication. Thus is the True Seed already maturing, and THEN THE HARVEST.
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Harvest time. Yes, harvest time. The two vines that grew together and intertwined their branches are now to be separated. The fruits of those vines which were at such variance will be gathered into separate garners. The two spirits will go to their separate destinations. Now it is time to heed the final call that comes only to the Wheat Bride, 'Come out of her My people that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye (wheat) receive not her (tares) plagues (the great tribulation of the sixth seal and Matthew 24).
The Last Warning Of The Spirit
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Revelation 3:22, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
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This is the LAST warning. There will not be another. The throne room has been set up. The twelve foundations have been laid. The streets of gold have been paved. The gates of gigantic pearls are raised and hinged. Like a pyramid she stands so fair and glorious. The heavenly beings who have prepared her watch breathlessly, for she glistens and shines with a glory that is unearthly. Every facet of her beauty tells a story of amazing grace and Jesus' love. She is a city prepared for a prepared people. She awaits only for her inhabitants, and soon they will throng her streets with joy. Yes, it is the last call. The Spirit will not speak in another age. The ages are over.
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But thank God, at this moment, this age is not over. He is yet crying. And His cry is not only in the spiritual ears of men by His Spirit, but once again a prophet is in the land. Once more God will reveal the truth as He did to Paul. In the days of the seventh messenger, in the days of the Laodicean Age, its messenger will reveal the mysteries of God as revealed to Paul. He will speak out, and those who receive that prophet in his own name will receive the beneficent effect of that prophet's ministry. And they that hear him will be blessed and become part of that bride of the last day who are mentioned in Revelation 22:17, "The Spirit and the bride say come." The corn of wheat (the Bride Wheat) that fell into the ground at Nicaea has come back to original Word Grain again. Praise God forever. Yes, listen to the authenticated prophet of God who appears in this last age. What he says from God, the bride will say. The Spirit and the prophet and the bride will be saying the same thing. And what they will say will have already been said in the Word. They are saying it now, "Come out from among her now and be ye separate." The cry has gone out. The cry is going out. How long will the voice cry? We do not know, but one thing we do know, it won't be long, for this is the last age.
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He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. The Spirit has spoken. The setting sun is about to fade into eternity for the church ages. Then it will be all over. Then it will be too late to come. But if somewhere in this series God has dealt with you by His Spirit, may you even now turn to Him in repentance and give your life to Him that by His Spirit He may give you eternal life.