INTRODUCTION: WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LATTER PART OF THIS PRESENT LUKEWARM CHURCH AGE WHICH POSITIVELY IDENTIFIES THE AGE WITH THE SPIRIT RULING OVER THE LAODICEAN CHURCH OF ASIA MINOR SOME 40 YEARS AFTER ITS BIRTH?
Today I am speaking upon a most timely subject taken from Rev. 3: 14-22. I am aware my subject may appear humorous, nevertheless I am sure you shall soon realize the seriousness of it, as the title itself portrays the scriptural language of God who has visited the Laodicean Church Age for fellowship only to find that which was offered to him was of such a lukewarm nature he spewed it out of his mouth!! Therefore, God’s warning in reality is simply this—THAT WHICH YOU SERVE ME AS A CUP OF FELLOWSHIP HAD BETTER BE HEATED UP OR I WILL SPEW IT OUT!! Verse 14—To the angel of the ‘Church of Laodicea write these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. Verse 15–I KNOW THY WORKS THAT THOU ART NEITHER COLD NOR HOT: I WOULD THOU WERE COLD OR HOT!!
WORKS NEITHER COLD NOR HOT
The Almighty said I know thy works Laodicea and they are works which are neither cold nor hot. Recall, knowing their works was the first statement Christ always made to each of his seven gentile churches of Asia Minor which in turn represented or portrayed the seven gentile church ages. In all seven ages Christ mentions their works. Works are what the people within any respective hour of time contributes through their activity, enthusiasm and attitude in putting forth an effective testimony to the people of their respective hour and age. Furthermore, their works incorporate the very life they live and what they stood for in order to be a living testimony within their respective hour of history as they influenced others to also enter the service of the kingdom of God. Therefore to Laodicea, as well as all the other six churches Christ began by saying. “I know thy works.” Believe me beloved, with the last age the Almighty is thoroughly disappointed and disgusted with what he sees, called their works, because it is their works which causes Christ to address the age as a whole saying, YOU ARE NEITHER COLD NOR HOT, YOU ARE HALFWAY BETWEEN THE TWO! By the grace of God we want to discover what is being halfway between COLD AND HOT and the price one must pay if one remain in such a condition spiritually. Furthermore, we desire to learn just what did the Spirit have in mind where he used this special language COLD AND HOT, and how on God’s thermometer are these degrees determined? Most of all we desire to discover what is being LUKEWARM and what causes LUKEWARMNESS.
Notice verses 15-16, the Church of Laodicea has in reality already reached some 40 years of age and is the last of the seven local churches to be mentioned in Asia Minor. Laodicea had a certain spirit upon it which would represent the 7th and final gentile church age also called Laodicea. The Almighty declares from their works they are neither COLD NOR HOT and because thou art LUKEWARM I will spew you out of my mouth. Observe here the scripture declares the Almighty as saying he would spew them from—HIS MOUTH! Therefore, in order to spew something from one’s mouth something would first need to be placed into the mouth, would it not? Later on we shall discover just what was placed in the mouth and why.
WHY LAODICEA WAS LUKEWARM
The Lord continues by showing this local church called Laodicea, who is chosen to represent the 7th and final church age, why they are so LUKEWARM. It is simply because of a certain spirit which has gotten upon the people causing them to say within their hearts, I AM RICH AND INCREASED WITH GOODS AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING! Irregardless to what this church thinks, observe the actual true condition of the church which represents the final gentile church age as it is brought out in verse 17. God says to the church–YOU ACTUALLY DO THINK YOU ARE RICH, INCREASED WITH GOODS AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING, HOWEVER YOU ARE DECEIVED! YOU ARE NOT RICH, YOU ARE IN THE WORST CONDITION A CHURCH COULD POSSIBLY BE BECAUSE THE CONDITION YOU ARE IN, YOU DON’T EVEN REALIZE IT!!
KNOWEST THOU NOT THOU ART WRETCHED AND MISERABLE AND POOR AND BLIND AND NAKED! Bear in mind, what is said to this church is also said to the 7th and final church age! 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 no longer naked) THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR, AND ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE THAT THOU MIGHTEST 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 INTO HIM AND SUP WITH HIM AND HE WITH ME. SUPPING AND SPEWING
Moreover, it is drastically important we observe two important things which happens within this church which represents the final church age, as a matter of fact within the same hour of time called Laodicea. Verse 20, Christ says—I will sup with him and he with me. This alone lets us know that which Christ will spew out of his mouth had to be something he had first supped and because it was in a LUKEWARM condition HE SPEWED IT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!! Before actually entering into the letter itself, addressed first of all to the Laodicean Church located in Asia Minor yet carrying a two-fold meaning as did all the other six letters to the six churches before Laodicea recorded in Rev. 2 & 3, let us first examine somewhat of the background of the local church at Laodicea some 1900 years ago to which John the Beloved from the Isle of Patmos has been instructed to write.
BACKGROUND OF LAODICEA
Recall in the letter the Laodicean Church had a misguided exalted feeling-THEY WERE RICH. In a sense the city of Laodicea was experiencing a period of materialistic prosperity and wealth which was naturally hindering the church’s fellowship with God as they also were caught up in a materialistic spirit of wealth and things which wealth can supply. Laodicea was unlike the people in the other surrounding areas in Asia Minor, such as Ephesus (the capital city), Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia or even the people of Galatia, Thessalonica and other areas wherein dwelt a much poorer class of people. History declares Laodicea was located in a metropolitan area and was a thriving commercial city which afforded the people living there a much higher standard of living than the other areas therefore. Laodicea was considered to be a wealthy people. Throughout these other poorer areas in Asia Minor, circumstances were of such a nature it demanded the people to rely more so upon the grace of God to provide for them. This could not be said for Laodicea, instead after 40 years they felt themselves rich and had need of nothing. Recall, in Acts 19 Paul had pastored 3 years in Ephesus, the capital city of Asia, and during that time it had been from Ephesus the Word of the Lord had spread throughout all Asia which included Laodicea (Acts 19:10). Like so many other areas from which the people traveled up to Ephesus to hear Paul preach the gospel, became converted and returned so did Laodicea, they returned and established a fellowship in the faith. Undoubtedly God had accomplished great things among the Laodicean people, especially during the first part of that 40 year period.
SPIRIT SEEN IN LAODICEA AFTER 40 YEARS
Now some forty years later they have completely taken on the attitude of BEING RICH AND HAVING NEED OF NOTHING! By 96 A.D. God sees the people of Laodicea living in the midst of such an environment of material prosperity and wealth as none of the other churches had ever experienced. Because of that one thing it changed their feelings toward the grace of God and created a certain materialistic spirit within that particular church, a spirit which would represent the spirit of the final 7th church age shortly before the coming of Christ. Recall, no other church in Asia Minor had this spirit, therefore as that spirit of materialism ruled over Laodicea so shall that spirit of material wealth and the dependence upon it overshadow the hearts of the final church age!
From the Isle of Patmos, John, the last remaining original apostle writes a letter to Laodicea whereby God, through his servant, rebukes them saying I know thy works that thou are NEITHER COLD NOR HOT! Remember, before any of this letter can apply to the final age itself it must first be applied to the local church in Asia Minor called Laodicea. Christ will reject this age (as he did Laodicea in Asia Minor) because of their LUKEWARM attitude toward-his revealed Word of Truth! Yes, the people of that original church called Laodicea are certainly all dead today, nevertheless that materialistic spirit which overshadowed that church causing their slackness in the grace of God DID NOT DIE and shall once again make its appearance in the final church age in which we now live. Truly, Laodicea did set a perfect type or pattern for this endtime age as it portrayed or was trying to exemplify a resurrected Christ. Notice also Laodicea falls in the categorical order of seven showing that possessive materialism spirit would also invade the 7th and final gentile grace age also called Laodicea, shortly before the coming of Christ.
WHY THIS SPIRIT COULD APPEAR IN NO OTHER AGE
1-EXAMINING MATERIALISTIC SPIRIT FROM ECONOMIC STANDPOINT
At this time allow me to show you something most important. This final age of the gentile church called Laodicea is positively the only age in which this materialistic spirit of wealth could possibly show itself within. Therefore, for a few moments we want to examine this spirit first from strictly an economical or material standpoint among nations to show why this is the only age within which that spirit could appear. This is the one period or age the gentile world as a whole fits perfectly into that materialistic spirit of wealth more so than any other age in all history.
DAY OF NATIONALISM
Today is a day of nationalism, especially throughout Europe (beginning around 1948). Before this period, for approximately 300-400 years the gentile world was passing through a period known as colonialism. Colonialism, as you I recall, followed the period of time I shortly after the great gentile nations slowly began to emerge out of the long Dark Ages (1517 A.D.), through Martin Luther’s revolt of Protestantism against the Catholic Church. It was during that period God began opening new frontiers to these already established European nations to discover new territories of the world, or shall we say, conquer new territories.. Throughout the 16th & 17th centuries, spiritually the gentile church world was slowly passing through the Sardis Church Age and into the Philadelphia Age (16th-19th Century) Rev. 2:1-13. The nations especially throughout Europe were already beginning to move out into the new world of North and South America, even over into Asiatic countries, Africa, the Far East, Etc., conquering or taking over these vast territories of people, placing them under their individual European flags. It was during this period of history colonialism opened new frontiers and the saying went forth—the sun could never set on the British flag. However through none of those periods could that spirit of materialistic wealth appear!
10 NATIONS INCORPORATE OLD ROMAN EMPIRE
Great powers or nations of I Europe, especially those ten c nations who at one time in history had been known as the vast territory which incorporated the ancient Roman Empire, began to colonize these poorer areas of people who lived in backwoods or jungles in ignorance or as it would be determined today– underprivileged countries—all these were taken over by the strong nations of Europe and became recognized as the territories or colonies governed by England, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, etc..Hence, these great European countries spread themselves out everywhere over the globe, especially during the greater part of the 16th-20th Century. History calls that period COLONIALISM.
SARDIS AND PHILADELPHIA AGE UNABLE TO PRODUCE NEEDED ENVIRONMENT
Recall, during those centuries which well covers the Sardis and Philadelphia Church Age there could, by no means, ever appear that spirit of material wealth found only in Laodicea, that spirit which represents this gentile age of materialistic wealth. Why could not that spirit appear in any of those other church ages? Simply because that was not an hour Europe or anyone else was trying to lift up the economical, materialistic living standard of any of these people! Instead they were using these colonial people as servants, draining these territories of their vast resources and channeling them back to feed the European homeland who dominated them. Remember, we are examining this strictly from an economical standpoint showing how this spirit of Laodicea could fit in no other age other than the final church age called Laodicea which came upon the gentile world only after the 20th Century. Furthermore, it was nowhere during these past centuries, 16th-19th, that the people of these pressed down nations were crying out for a higher living standard or even seeking for other nations to divide their materialistic wealth with them as it has been done during the latter half of this 20th Century. Those centuries 16th-19th or church ages–Sardis and Philadelphia–could by no means provide the environment to be the age or period wherein the Lord could visit the gentile church and find her engulfed In material things as he did in this final Laodicean age. No other church age than this one period in which we now live could ever be rebuked for being overtaken or caught up in a spirit of great material economic achievements. Why? Because the people of those other church ages were still very much dependent upon the Almighty God for help.
20TH CENTURY, EUROPEAN NATIONS PULL BACK FOR FINAL SETTING
Nevertheless, by the turn of the 20th Century, time was slowly advancing unto the hour for the Laodicean age to appear whereby God would fulfill his word. Therefore, as the Philadelphia or Wesleyan Age fades out, the Almighty begins to reverse the trend of things especially among those gentile European nations causing them to now begin to pull back into their original geographical structure which once they occupied throughout those Dark Ages, as he prepares now for the final scene within the gentile world. Europe reunites back into her original territories for the end, back into her setting where once the mighty Caesars of Rome ruled the vast territory of Europe within the old Roman Empire with headquarters in Rome, Italy.
…To do this the European powers must first begin to release or lose their hold over these pressed down territories scattered throughout the world. Many of which today have become separate, individual nations. As this is done, the one system called colonialism fades out while another spirit in Europe must rise to take its place over the nations to balance the picture for the endtime setting. The time, shall we say, in which the Laodicean church age is ushered in was around 1906, shortly before Europe would enter into her first death struggle called World War I, whereupon less than 20 years later comes World War II, a war which truly left Europe destitute, broke, bleeding and starving. Nevertheless, around 1948 we began to hear a new cry in Europe. One for a united Europe!
CRY FOR UNITED EUROPE
Now, certainly during the first years within the 20th Century no one could say the gentile world had truly entered into an age of great materialistic wealth and a higher standard of living which might indicate no need for the Spirit of God. ( Rev. 3:17) any more than one could say the first part of the Laodicean Church located in Asia Minor was taken up with that materialistic spirit of wealth either. It was only in the latter part the Spirit of God began to see this spirit taking over in the local church of Laodicea (during the first part of 40 yrs.). Europe which had always cried out for a separate national identity now suddenly around 1948 began a strange new cry for recognition of a new European national unity! Mainly through the support of the U.S. Europe was rebuilt after World War II and Europe through a trade agreement among themselves entered into one of the greatest period of prosperity ever known within their history. It was also during the early ’50’s other underdeveloped nations of the world who mainly had been depressed for centuries by European powers also began to cry for financial assistance to lift up their living standards to a height whereby they too might enjoy a material prosperity. The cry of the world today as you study the news is for nations to economically and financially assist one another, lift up the weak to a much higher scale or standard of living. Truly beloved, this is the first time in man’s 6000 years of history that such a thing has ever happened!
Think for a moment of the great dignitary powers of nations who have tramped the face of the earth with conquering armies only to suppress others.
No beloved, this is the only hour in the history of the gentile world that undeveloped, underprivileged people from the interior of Africa, India, China, etc.. are wrestling for something and that something is a new materialistic prosperity known only to this age of material wealth. Every undeveloped nation wants a higher standard of living and the prosperity this world can offer, they want it shared with them!
RICH ENOUGH TO HAVE NEED OF NOTHING
All this has been said to show this could be the only age through which the gentile church has passed that this spirit of Laodicea could possibly show itself whereby an age could declare themselves RICH AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING! We have seen that spirit from an economical standpoint come upon the gentile nations, now let us watch that prosperity spirit in the spiritual atmosphere of the church whereby we may be able to observe the effects more efficiently of this materialistic spirit of wealth upon the church age as man through his great scientific technological breakthrough of modern industry and living standards has at last produced a generation of people whereby, that Laodicean spirit of economical prosperity found first in the church at Laodicea in Asia Minor some 1900 years ago can at last invade an age and that age is none other than this endtime age.
MATERIALISM—IDOL OF THIS AGE
Materialism has become an idol or a goal within this age after having traveled approximately 40 years into the Laodicean age whereby man seeks to press toward this goal. Naturally, pressing toward this idol of materialism has, in itself, created a spirit which has greatly affected, not only the gentile nominal christian but has also invaded the premises of the church of the living God as well.
Laodicea is that age of materialism which shows itself as the church approaches its final step leading to the return of the Lord. Speaking of this particular message of rebuke to a most deceived church (and a church age as well) we discover the Lord himself has visited the age to bring into it the fullness of his revelation to visit and fellowship, offering to this final age a fellowship of such nature that no other age was privileged to receive. His visit to Laodicea was one based strictly upon revealed truth. Is it not strange that every church group, whether denominational or independent, seems to feel themselves to be that true body of the Bride church for Laodicea.
WHO IS THE BRIDE?
Who then does make up that little body of Bride believers for the age? None other than those who have opened up their hearts to him and invited him into their hearts in a warm fellowship, that is, inviting him in the very fullness of his revelation. The Bride of Christ for Laodicea are those who can say Amen to the revelation of the Word of God for this hour. It is those who embrace the Bible truth as a whole. Beloved, this letter alone reveals who the true Bride Church is for the Laodicean hour. I repeat, no age has ever been offered the opportunity to embrace such divine revelated truth as has Laodicea.
LAODICEA USHERED IN 1906
Watch carefully and observe how truth has been presented to the Laodicean Church Age. Christ introduced the age of Laodicea around 1906 with a mighty outpouring revival of the gifts of the Spirit. Shortly following this revival, around 1912 came the revelation of the redemptive name of God as well as the true revelation concerning the One God and Baptism in his redemptive name. That’s not all, because following World War II came the greatest visitation from God in divine healing and miracles covering approximately 10 years (1956-1966) ever known. Following this came forth the messenger for the Laodicean Church Age with a storehouse full of great revealed truths for the Bride people of the age. Beloved, as no other age Laodicea has truly been presented the greatest opportunity to receive divine truth, only to reject it! How else do you think Christ could possibly enter into this age to visit the hearts of the people other than by the spiritual revelation of his true Word? By that Word which had been so greatly confused throughout with the Babylonian teachings. ideas and opinions of men.
LORD ENTERS AGE THROUGH REVELATORY SPIRIT
What does Christ find as he enters into the age through the revelation of truth? He finds the gentile church world in a very LUKEWARM stage of fellowship with his Word. Coming into the age, Christ found as a whole the age bogged down or all taken up with materialism and the care of life. Beloved, it is because of that materialistic spirit of wealth and the ability to get it that had caused the enthusiasm and the fires of those earlier, previously established revelations of these certain truths already given to the church age to completely burn out or simmer down extremely low. Yes. this desire to get materialistic wealth had left the church in the Laodicean hour in a most LUKEWARM stage of fellowship with the WORD. We must note first how the Lord makes a distinction between what he terms COLD AND HOT and how he had rather the Laodicean Church Age people be COLD or HOT rather than in the condition they were—LUKEWARM! Therefore, he is likening their fellowship toward him as to that of a drink of fellowship in which one might offer a visitor who had come to fellowship in the home. For remember, when anyone comes to visit your home and fellowship you, the courteous and polite thing to do is offer them something to drink while fellowshipping. However, if it is something in the nature of coffee or tea, water or soft drink, you would serve it either COLD OR HOT but never LUKEWARM. No doubt if you were that rude to your guest after the first sip he would probably refuse it. That is exactly what the Lord says to the church! I came to fellowship you through revelation of truth and you were so LUKEWARM and unconcerned, taken up with this age of materialism that your cup of fellowship experience is so LUKEWARM, after taking one sip I spewed it out of my mouth!
OFFER SOMETHING HOT
Using this phrase I WILL SPEW THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH connected with the phrase in verse 20, KNOCKING ON THE HEART’S DOOR AND IF INVITED IN THEY WOULD SUP TOGETHER illustrates this in the spiritual. Note the substance he spewed out of his mouth was LUKEWARM: Therefore we note the Almighty has likened those to whom he visited as he came into the Laodicean Church Age through the revelation of his Word as having been offered a cup of something to drink, (preferably a very hot substance). Because as Christ comes into the age in still more of his revelated truth to fellowship those who had already previously received a portion of his grace, he comes unto them hoping to find them most excited and on fire over his visit and to show real true fellowship with the precious revelated Word of God that they in turn would set before him something HOT to drink as a good host should do. His drink simply indicates out of the abundance of a grateful heart which has already been given the privilege to enjoy the benefits and blessings of God, in order to show their appreciation and gratitude for his love, they in turn would at least offer or set before him a cup of bubbling fellowship, taken fresh from out of the very depths of a heart on fire for God.
SET ON FIRE WITH ENTHUSIASM AND TRUTH
Yes, he is in hopes to have something set before him that is on fire with enthusiasm and souls bubbling and running over with joy for his goodness. I would like to use the phrase of something that perhaps you would set before a visitor—a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee and to you who would object to the use of coffee or tea being used as an illustration, may I ask you one question if you were going to set a cup of something hot down before a guest who had come to fellowship with you as the Lord has done, what would you set before the guest. Surely not a cup of hot water with nothing in it—of course you wouldn’t! Recall, the Lord says because it wasn’t HOT or COLD but LUKEWARM he would spew it out of his mouth, indicating he expected what you offered him to be hot.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLD AND HOT
To Laodicea Christ said, I KNOW THY WORKS that thou art neither COLD NOR HOT. What is being COLD and what is being HOT in the language of the Spirit? COLD naturally is the extreme opposite of HOT and visa versa. Here you have two scriptural temperature zones described by the Spirit. First, what does COLD represent?
1—COLD IS THE WORLD
Spiritually speaking COLD represents the COLD world itself or the unregenerated heart of the COLD world. It is something that has never been energized or set on fire by the regeneration of the Holy Ghost. Gauging by the thermometer setting of God’s Word. COLD is a temperature setting showing the heat of the Holy Ghost has never warmed it up because at no time has that COLD heart of the unregenerated ever been around the fire of God. Therefore it is someone barren and destitute, out of the fellowship of God. Why? Because the COLD world refuses to fellowship the Holy Ghost; they don’t want God, they are not interested, therefore, they are COLD. COLD like cold water waiting to be put in the pot, set on the stove to be heated up, while HOT is just the opposite.
2—HOT REVELATION FILLED
HOT typifies an altogether different atmosphere. It typifies one who in his past was COLD and destitute in the world of sin, however, now has heard the call of God for salvation and thrown himself in the arms of the mercy of God and allowed the fires of God’s Holy Spirit to regenerate him. However, never forget once God has regenerated your soul, the Spirit of Truth comes into your life to fellowship you and once inside your life he begins to illuminate you with the revelation of Truth. Beloved, if your soul has ever truly been regenerated there is also within that fire of this spirit of regeneration the stimulation of revelation which places a zeal and a longing within your heart to truly live for God. By the way, that continual flow of revelated truth into your soul can be looked upon as the continuous heavenly fuel which feeds that fire of regeneration in your soul and keeps the fire HOT!
HEAVENLY FIRE BURNS NOT ON OPINIONS
Never forget HOT is the desired temperature of the heart which has been heated from that Holy Ghost fire which continually burns off the heavenly fuel of revelation of God’s Word and will by no means burn from ideas and opinions of man! Although note, this is an age when people want the Holy Ghost and fire without the fuel of revelation to feed the flame of fire into a heated blaze as it burns in your soul. No, beloved, the fire which makes one HOT for God can never feed off ideas, opinions of carnality. It burns strictly on heavenly fuel because it is a heavenly fire! Therefore once the Holy Ghost fire which is produced from the Spirit of regeneration creates warmth in your soul and as you continually feed this fire with fresh revelation of truth brought by the Holy Ghost, he continues to knock upon your heart’s door for a fresh visit with still more truth, there is no way possible beloved that you could not help but stay HOT and on fire for God! Why? Because if you have any fire at all, it has to be within you.
GOD WANTS YOU HOT
No, we aren’t discussing being HOT from a physical standpoint. We are discussing a believer being t spiritually on fire and what causes his fire to continually burn HOTTER and not simmer down. We are discussing getting unthawed and warmed up; getting this regenerated fire in your bosom. As you feed the flame with revelation it simply means you accept such revelations as being baptized correctly according to the scripture. With the true revelation on the scripture Matt. 28:19 and Acts 2:38 you no longer feel Matthew and Peter were at odds with each other. Matthew was seen standing with the other apostles on the day of Pentecost declaring baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins was correct!
Beginning to live according to the revelated truth of God’s Word places such fuel upon the fire in your heart, you have a great desire and zeal to live for God and allow your life to amount to something for him in the way of Truth. The fire of God’s Spirit through regeneration, as one feeds this fire e with heavenly fuel puts such a stimulating effect on the fire within the soul of the redeemed that in turn the fire in the soul gives life, joy, peace, longsuffering as it is permitted to burn within the heart. Note this, as that fire is permitted to burn within the heart, it successfully burns out all the cares and love of that Spirit for the materialistic world of which before this shrine so many do worship, as well as did our own spirits once feed upon that carnality prior to our conversion. Now, instead of the love and cares of the world, God has placed within the life of the redeemed the fruits of the Spirit(Gal. 5:)
Yes, those wonderful fruits of the Spirit have been added to our lives of which before our conversion and receiving the fire of regeneration we were so destitute. Therefore, being heated by the heavenly fuel furnished by the Holy Ghost (true revelation) life ceases to be a drudgery and burden, life ceases to be a continual complaining, bickering and grumbling as life now becomes a joy in living for God. When you are on fire for God that spiritual thermometer of the Holy Ghost is registering HOT. Everything you do for God is thoroughly enjoyed. Much like a person who loves their particular business and receives great joy in doing that kind of work, putting their whole heart into it because in a sense you could say they were on fire in the business world. Likewise , you who are set on fire with God’s truth do also enjoy the things you are doing for him. When you register HOT you become energetic and find yourself going all out in that which you are doing for God. Naturally speaking, a person who is HOT in the business world has been known to almost wreck their physical existence to make a thing go. Why? Because they throw themselves so much into the work or they simply get all wrapped up and burning with enthusiasm. Is that not the way it is with a true saint of God? As you feed the heavenly fuel to the fire of regeneration in your soul you will burn like a brush fire on a windy March day when everything is dry! Spiritually speaking, isn’t that exactly what happens to us once having been cut out of the old COLD forest of the world and brought to the fire fed by the revelation of God’s Word?
WHAT THE FIRE DID
First the Holy Ghost regenerated my soul, Second–created an enthusiasm within me whereby I wanted to live for God. Now I detest being COLD instead I want to be on fire. There we see the term HOT used by the Holy Ghost is his own thermometer whereby he measures the degree of heat in the fire as he sips the cup of our fellowship created off our experience. If that cup of fellowship offered to him, once placed to his lips is not found to be HOT when he sips it, HE WILL SPEW IT OUT on the floor all over your nice wall to wall carpet. Why will he spew it out of his mouth? Simply, to receive one sip of what is in your cup of fellowship offered to him when it is LUKEWARM would be to place his approval upon your LUKEWARM condition and that HE WILL NEVER DO, instead HE WILL SPEW IT OUT OF HIS MOUTH.
EXAMINING HEAT FROM NATURAL STANDPOINT
For a moment let us examine what heat from a natural s, standpoint will do once created by a fire. HEAT always causes water to bubble as well as CAUSING THINGS TO SWELL. If you don’t think so, place a kettle of water on the stove and watch what happens once the thing begins to boil-as the heat gets to it. You will notice before the heat penetrates the substance in the container and it began to boil that the water simply lays still in the pot. However, once heat penetrated the substance in the vessel the heat caused it to bounce and bubble. Heat will cause food to boil over and run all over the stove, however, cut off that fire and it won’t be anytime before the water stops moving, stops bubbling, stops dancing about and furthermore, the food simply settles down to normal once the steam ceases! Yes, fire naturally does things to tangible elements and likewise there is something about that Holy Ghost fire burning within your soul as God continues to pour on the heavenly fuel to make it even burn hotter within us.
ON FIRE IS ACCEPTING TRUE REVELATION
How? Through the revelation of the scriptures of course! What does it do for a person where the fire of regeneration burns brightly within their soul? My, how it stimulates and invigorates the person’s soul—They become energetic and enthusiastic while beloved, the enthusiasm which has been created stimulates excitement and joy within the person’s life while the fire burns brightly upon the heavenly fuel. Again I repeat, this fire which is heavenly must be fed from heavenly fuel and will never burn FROM WORLDLY IDEAS AND OPINIONS OF MAN!
As I stated, when a person becomes enthusiastic over their life with God they will always do their best to make it a success. Yet on the other hand, if they fail to enjoy what they are doing or fail to show enthusiasm which is what usually happens, they always lose interest, become sloppy in their work, sloppy in their life or testimony as they struggle to represent a risen Christ to the world within their daily life. Any old way seems to do, merely throw – it together enough to get by. Beloved, God will not accept our christianity on such a sloppy basis as merely trying to have barely enough to get by–throwing it together in any old fashion, trying to have a testimony or merely trying to live for God. No, beloved we are either going to do one of two things, enthusiastically and fervently live for God and be accepted as Bride material or either we simply aren’t going to live for him at all, therefore we will be rejected!
BEING ON FIRE BURNS OUT CARNALITY
If we enthusiastically and fervently live for him, that is, being what he determines as HOT—-remember it is only his spiritual thermometer which registers whether we are or not, nevertheless realize this, if our soul is not on fire and that fire burning brightly off the revelation of truth, that heavenly fuel, there can positively be no way a person in this Laodicean Church Age could possibly register HOT!! It is only the fire of regeneration placed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost that will ever burn things unlike God out of our life as we continually allow that fire to feed upon the fuel of revelation in the Word of Truth. Allowing that revelated truth to become a part of us is the only thing that will even burn everything pertaining to this worldly materialistic spirit out of a dedicated life. Remember, as it is burning the worldly spirit out, the fire is heating you up spiritually and accomplished two things for others as well. One, it furnishes light whereby others see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven. Two, it also furnishes enthusiasm for others to desire to live and work for him.
Therefore, if we can begin to examine these things in that respect we begin to see the extreme of HOT is COLD and COLD would represent a plain outright sinner one who had never experienced the grace of God one with whom God could probably do far more than he could with a LUKEWARM person who had gone to church all their lives, went through a form and struggled along—-that kind you simply can’t teach anything! To them revelation is just as foreign as it can be. That beloved is the spirit of the day of Laodicea as people are throwing their attention far more upon material success, material goods. material pleasure and things of that nature than they are the spiritual revelation of Truth!
LOW FIRE PROMOTES LUKEWARMNESS
The Lord informed the Laodicean Church (after some 40 years) he knew their WORKS, which alone showed he had also been looking upon the Laodicean Age they represented and believe me, God was not at all pleased with their activity or performance as a so-called christian. The spiritual thermometer or temperature of the professing christian had been based strictly upon what they had been doing (their works) in their service for him and how the people had reacted toward this heavenly fuel or great endtime revelation he had sent them to keep the fire of their experience burning brightly. Hot fire which would have heated up their testimony and also would be responsible for their attitude and reaction to all of this as they were being motivated. However, instead of finding them on fire the scripture declares the age as a whole was very LUKEWARM! With what God had already sent them they should have been RED HOT, instead the Almighty declared the age was neither COLD nor HOT!
LAODICEA BARELY HAD FIRE
This is an age christianity barely has enough spiritual mind to know they should attend church and be engaged in some kind of religious activity. Furthermore, it is also an hour when materialism or materialistic advantages of life (easy living etc.,) has ensnared the average christian to the extent their very life has become literally entangled or wrapped up in the realm of materialism in so much they have definitely lost their enthusiasm altogether! If going to church and living for God hasn’t already become a drudgery with them, in most cases it has simply become a habit. Furthermore this is an hour if a person is truly on fire for God and attends a good place of worship, unless he is bedfast he would almost have to have a temperature of 104 to keep him from the house of worship. While on the other hand those people who are not on fire will search for every excuse possible to remain in bed Sunday morning or get in the old car and ramble all over the country. Why? Because they no longer feed upon the revelation of God’s Word and the fire no longer burns brightly within their soul.
Their spirit is LUKEWARM and if they remain in that condition God is sure to reject them. Their spirits now retain barely enough of the precious heat from some past experience, from their former relationship and fellowship with God, which no doubt at one time did register HOT, now can hardly be felt. If you were to back them in a corner concerning their pitiful LUKEWARM condition all you would hear would be some kind of poor excuse much the same as if you cornered some of these denominational people on the truth and they would remark. Yes, I realize that is correct, however if I accept it I will lose my friends or associations within my group or I simply can’t stand the pressure. All of this God likens the entire attitude to LUKEWARMNESS because these people now LUKEWARM have simply lost their enthusiasm and zeal and have positively cooled on!!
LAODICEA’S LUKEWARMNESS, INEXCUSABLE
Notice the Almighty’s following statement, Verse 17-18 as he looks down upon all this compromising lukewarm age and realizing how he has presented to this particular age something he had never offered to any of the previous ages seeing it was not the hour to do so. Nevertheless we now hear him speak unto this people in such a tone of language which indicates just how sick he actually is of this overall picture and illustrates it in the following manner—Laodicea. I have given to you the greatest stimulation of revelation of all times. I have given to you revelation whereby you might know me in a clearer understanding of who I am: a clearer understanding than to the people in any other age. Therefore, there is no reasonable excuse for your LUKEWARMNESS seeing I have offered you heavenly fuel for your fire of experience. There should be such a fire in your soul that you couldn’t help but be aglow or a burning, shining light for me, illuminating this age with true revelated apostolic truth. Yes, beloved, as in no other age God through his endtime church age messenger had brought and presented truth to this Laodicean Church Age, wherein had it been accepted in its true revelatory aspect it would have set the soul on fire for God. Hence there was no excuse once the Spirit of the Lord came to visit the hearts of people in this age as a heavenly guest in such true divine revelation, visiting hearts which he had previously visited with other truth–that once fellowship began between the revelatory Spirit of God and the individual heart and he tasted of that which they had to offer him in a cup of spiritual fellowship, the Lord when tasting or supping from this cup should have tasted our fellowship offered him to be piping HOT instead of a miserable distasteful LUKEWARM taste it presented in his mouth once his taste buds touched it, thus causing him to spew it out. rejecting it! (V 16)
CUP OFFERED ON BASIS OF EXPERIENCE
We offer that cup of fellowship from which he sups on the basis of our experience with him and for this age especially with all the revelation he has presented unto it he is expecting and demanding nothing short of an experience ablaze from the fire of the Holy Ghost fed upon the heavenly fuel of scriptural revelation on the Word! This positively proves beloved, that had those people referred to as LUKEWARM within the age reached out a hand of friendship unto the Spirit for more revelation, the fire which dwindled in the soul causing the cup of fellowship to have been LUKEWARM would instead have been piping HOT as he desired.
CHRIST IS THAT SPIRIT COME TO VISIT
Remember, according to Romans 8:9-11 the Holy Ghost is that Spirit of Jesus Christ the Lord and once that Holy Spirit entered into my life or visited my house or temple as my permanent heavenly guest, he did so first to regenerate me, second to stimulate and set my soul on fire and in motion of living for God. Furthermore, he came into my house or life as the Spirit of Truth to revelate my soul and what is more important he came for one other very important purpose and that was to fellowship my spirit! Yes, he definitely came to fellowship. Is he not my Guest? Should I not treat him at least no less than I would a visitor who came to my home for fellowship? Yes, beloved and it is the result of just such fellowship that causes the Holy Spirit here to use the language in fellowship terms as he does.
For example, when you pay someone a visit what is usually the one thing said by the host after you have visited for a brief period—would you care for something to drink while we visit and fellowship? May I serve you a cup of tea or coffee, milk, soft drink etc.. This has been the characteristic language or gesture of good fellowship down through the centuries of time. Soon you see the host leave the room and return with something to drink and you sit together fellowshipping and sipping the beverage offered by the host. If it is nothing more than a cold glass of water it is still an expression of appreciated fellowship, it shows communication; it shows recognition of fellowship.
AGE REJECTS MESSAGE
However, watch closely what the Lord is saying. I visited this gentile church age with the greatest revelation ever offered since the days of the apostles; the greatest revelation on his Word in over 1900 years. My, what a supply of heavenly fuel that will make for the fire in your soul and he offered it to the Laodicean Church Age of gentiles. In one sense of the word. you might say they threw it right back in his face because the people as a whole responded in such a negative and dilatory manner toward his invitation for a truly scriptural fellowship. The people who should have been the most thankful, the most conscientious as a group to have recognized his divine presence within his Word, in return gave him so little! Then what about those who said they follow along with the revealed message of the hour, were they actually following a personal revelation through the message?
DO YOU HAVE THE FIRE
Today when it comes to offering the Lord Jesus a cup of fresh HOT fellowship drawn from our personal experience and heated upon whatever fire of revelation we may still possess, how does the fellowship taste to him once he sips or tastes of that which we offer him-which should be HOT! Are we also guilty of setting before this heavenly guest a LUKEWARM cup of fellowship, based upon the heat in our experience, as our expression of love which truly should be something other than spiritually LUKEWARM or has the fire of our experience simmered so low, causing us to be unable to produce a drink of fellowship only in spiritual LUKEWARMNESS!! Beware if the fire has burned low in the kitchen stove (your heart) the drink you serve the Lord will never be piping HOT! In spiritual language this simply means if we are refusing to allow that heavenly fuel to feed the flame of the fire of our experience we cannot help but offer the Lord something LUKEWARM! From a natural standpoint a person who had a guest and served refreshments, if they served something LUKEWARM it would indicate they were simply too lazy or too unconcerned to turn up the fire and heat the water before offering the cup or drink of fellowship. If a natural guest would be insulted, though he might not ever say anything for courtesy sake, what about that heavenly visitor! He tells us what he will do if we offer him something LUKEWARM. HE WILL SPEW IT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!
Spiritually speaking, such people as that remind me so much of the conservatives who serve left-over coffee which has been warmed up several times and has already started to get COLD again—HEAT IT UP OR THROW IT OUT! TURN UP THE FIRE, MAKE A FRESH CUP AND BRING IT AND SET IT BEFORE THE LORD or doesn’t his fellowship mean that much to you Don’t treat your special heavenly guest in such a haphazard manner. Make certain that cup of fellowship such as the tea or coffee is beginning to bubble and steam before offering it to him.
WHAT A BOILING AROMA DOES
Do you know, naturally speaking, you could be sitting in the living room and once the fire begins to heat that which you are to serve, the aroma of the heated substance will float throughout the house! You can hear the tea or coffee pot whenever it begins to sing out or go drip, drip then it won’t be long before you hear the tea kettle sounding off. Why, because heat makes whatever is in the container most active. It even causes our sense of smell to react and awaken other senses within the human body or house as well, doesn’t it? Beloved, there isn’t anything more invigorating than something HOT. If you are going to serve tea, serve it HOT. If you are serving coffee, serve it HOT. That is the way it was ordained to be served. Remember there is no way to serve it HOT without heat and you can only get it as HOT as the fire under it will produce heat!
I hope, beloved, you caught the spiritual aspect of this truth as we are illustrating the natural. Drinking something COLD is usually associated with that of soft drinks. Naturally in a soft drink it isn’t the beverage flavor that becomes so invigorating it is that carbonated water which stimulates and affects the stomach. Whoever heard of serving a hot coke! Of course not, you kill the carbonating effect. Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not advertising the soft drink business any more than I am advertising tea or coffee, I am only using this for an illustration seeing that is what a host will serve. I cannot see anyone setting before a guest a mere HOT cup of water to drink.
GOD EXPECTS SOMETHING HOT
It is such illustrative language as this the Lord himself chose to use to illustrate what was offered to him by the Laodicean Age when he came to visit. He is showing here that coming into this age in a revelatory spirit he drank or sipped from a cup of fellowship with church believers who already were in some part of truth. Had they walked in all that was available to them up until that hour there would have been more than enough heavenly fuel within their souls that when the Lord supped from their cup of fellowship the substance within the cup would have been piping HOT instead of LUKEWARM! No, what happened they had been caught up in that materialistic spirit such as was Laodicea of old (96 A.D.) who in her heart declared she was rich and had need of nothing!
SERIOUSNESS OF BEING HOT
Beloved, this is extremely serious! How do I know when the Lord might choose again to visit my heart with fresh revelation of his Word. As we would sit there together fellowshipping and I would offer him something to drink which had been heated from the fire of my experience — how do I know if there isn’t enough fire in my soul to heat the fellowship piping HOT that he is about to sup and maybe unbeknownst to me the fellowship would he LUKEWARM—-WHAT WOULD HAPPEN? I would be rejected as Bride material and so would you if he sups from our cup and it is LUKEWARM! What could be worse on my part as a host to serve a visitor LUKEWARM coffee. What would he think of me? Some fellowship, no doubt he would think, seeing I was not interested enough in our fellowship to offer something HOT, provided I served tea or coffee.
Well, beloved, when people get all enthused and stirred over the true revelated Word of the Lord they always offer him a piping HOT cup of fellowship with a few extra praises and hallelujahs thrown in for good measure and when he tastes of that and it is piping HOT he is well pleased. On the other hand, you could be about half asleep within your personal experience and in your fellowship with him and the fire of your experience dying out, seeing you weren’t taking in any more heavenly fuel to heat up the fire, when he came to visit you with still more revelated truth there would be nothing you could serve him but a LUKEWARM cup seeing you have not a HOT fire to heat the cup of fellowship.
SPIRITUALLY ASLEEP AND HARDLY ANY FIRE
Spiritually you would be asleep and in no condition to receive revealed truth that would register within your soul even if it came echoing down the corridors of your soul; you are so asleep within your being you are hardly aware as to who is visiting you with truth. A freight train could come through your spiritual house and knock it over, still you wouldn’t hear it. Bring forth revelation of truth out of God’s Word and you will sleep unable to recognize that the Lord came and knocked on your door for spiritual fellowship. WAKE UP QUICKLY, offer him something HOT to drink, don’t turn a COLD shoulder to your heavenly visitor. Keep the fire going at all times whereby you may constantly have something HOT to serve him during the visit. However, we recognize from the scripture the pitiful LUKEWARM CONDITION and attitude this age was in, and how they reacted to his visit. Remember this beloved, if you get too close to something COLD such as the spirit of this materialistic world, are you aware what will happen? That COLD will penetrate your HEAT and beloved you will begin to COOL off and soon hit a LUKEWARM state. Therefore LUKEWARMNESS will be all you have to offer the Lord when he visits.
Remember he came into the age for that visit, visiting a people of this age who somewhere had only experienced barely enough of his grace and goodness that they were only able to create a warm enough experience to present him with something which could only register as a LUKEWARM cup of fellowship. Sure they were able to say I believe he is my saviour, I believe he loves me, however when it came to revelation of the Word or accepting true fellowship with the Word whereby they might truly stimulate and heat their experience for a great fellowship, what do we hear them saying?
Truly there was such little true stimulation to the Lord’s visit they said, I will have to think quite a while about this. You know I could lose my friends by believing something like this. Remember this beloved, when the Lord visits you in truth to fellowship your heart (seeing that is the only way the Lord can visit and fellowship you) he will not ask you to set a cup of fellowship before him. No he is expecting you to offer him that hot cup of fellowship based on our experience and this we can do provided we have kept the fire of truth burning! He is expecting you as a good host to do that. Our homes should be a place of hospitality whereby we are conscious enough of our responsibility to offer the guest some refreshment. Therefore, how much more should we be toward that heavenly visitor when he visits? No, he won’t ask for something to drink, he expects you to offer him that seeing he gave you a new life through a new birth and placed a fire in your soul and further is more than willing to furnish the heavenly fuel to fan the fire, in return he is expecting you to set before him a cup of fellowship heated from that fuel and beloved it had better be something piping HOT and not something of a LUKEWARM nature, not something based on a past fading experience which once was HOT only now has grown LUKEWARM.
Therefore, coming into this age we observe the Almighty who brought so much truth into the age through the route of the divine revelation of his Word, only to be greeted in such a LUKEWARM, UNCONCERNED MANNER.
To this age I can hear God say –oh, Laodicea, thou careless age. Could you not recognize the hour of your visitation? This beloved as a whole is an age which simply does not want truth or true fellowship with him who is the true and living God. Oh sure, they want his blessing and protection, but not the revelation of himself! They want a religious form, yet deny the power of God. No, they do not want to get HOT because if they were to get on fire for the Lord they would have to accept his revelation. Furthermore, that heavenly fuel fed to the fire of their experience would in turn burn out that worldly lust and crave for some of these silly ridiculous worldly fashions and fads sweeping the country and overrunning the blinded church as well (however, more on this later.)
FIRE DESTROYS DESIRE FOR WORLD
The fire placed in our soul by God’s Spirit, if fed properly with the heavenly fuel, would burn out all of this in our life. Yet, beloved, when you see individuals always conforming to the world in its fashions and fads and still at the same time trying to conform to the church, you may rest assured the scale of their spiritual thermometer in their experience is registering a miserable LUKEWARMNESS! I ask you, how can God fellowship such unconcern as that? Set that kind of a cup of fellowship before him and watch what he does with its contents? Sure, out of courtesy and friendliness toward you, according to the scripture he will make the gesture as to take a sip of what you offered him. Nevertheless, the moment that LUKEWARM taste strikes his taste buds, what does he do? No, he isn’t going to swallow any ran, of it remember to swallow it would only mean he is accepting and condoning your LUKEWARM fellowship and this the Bible says he will never do—HE WILL SPEW IT OUT OF HIS MOUTH BEFORE HE WILL SWALLOW IT! ! Therefore in reality this is what he is speaking of in verse 16, where the scripture declares that which he was offered was spewed out of his mouth because of LUKEWARMNESS.
What happened? The individual allowed their fire of experience to simmer down by refusing toc add more heavenly (or spiritual revelation) fuel to the fire in order to keep it heated. Hence the cup of fellowship offered to him created from a previous experience had simply not had enough fire left in the bosom—you must have the fuel to heat the fire. Beloved. there is no fuel shortage with God! By no means is there a shortage on spiritual revelation on the Word with him! See there is no heat in what little fire is left in the soul these individuals ceased fellowshipping in the truth some time ago!
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered a cup of coffee or tea? You don’t want the waitress to serve it LUKEWARM and yet some restaurants like some christians, have become so careless and unconcerned they care little whether the coffee pot has been on or off the fire for hours— It matters not! However a restaurant which has a reputable name to uphold and they desire their food and service, especially their refreshments to be outstanding, they will always put forth that special effort to make sure the drink or refreshments are served correctly.
Here is another interesting point concerning coffee; If cold or barely lukewarm, Coffee of this nature could hardly be smelled in a cup if your nose was placed against the cup. Sure, it is still coffee and carries the same look and color as it always did, however, you can barely smell it if you are over one foot away from the pot. But oh, my, what a difference it was when that pot was HOT! You could smell it from the kitchen all the way into the bedroom, couldn’t you? One more thing to note about coffee once it begins to cool—the very taste itself becomes affected! Now it takes on a puckery taste; But oh! this was not true back when it was piping HOT! Even if you desired to put sugar in it the heat would simply open up your taste buds and you would be found smacking your lips saying, My, that sure is a fine cup of coffee! Again, I state that I am not advertising the use of coffee or tea, only using this as an illustration because one thing is sure the Lord had something in mind other than a mere plain hot cup of water set before him when he stated what the age of the Laodicean gentiles had offered him was LUKEWARM and he spewed it out of his mouth!! No, beloved, you simply don’t set a cup of LUKEWARM water before people do you?
Verse 15 — God declares: I WOULD THAT YOU WERE COLD OR HOT BUT BECAUSE YOU ARE LUKEWARM AND NEITHER COLD NOR HOT I WILL SPEW YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH. Note when he says I WOULD THAT YOU WERE COLD– In one sense he is saying I had rather you be anything than what you are. Why had God rather you be COLD than LUKEWARM?
RATHER YOU BE COLD
Simply because being COLD–recall we have already studied what being COLD is– it is a raw sinner whose heart is COLD having never been thawed out by the fire of regeneration. Being COLD here would offer God more opportunity to heat up a person who was a completely COLD sinner out in the world. Bringing him to the fire of the Holy Ghost would be easier than trying to reheat someone who was LUKEWARM and already knew what it was to be around the heat or fire of any desire for more close fellowship or revelation with the Spirit in order they might be heated up again.
Listen to God as he says to this age, I’D RATHER YOU WERE ON FIRE FOR ME OR SIMPLY BE AS COLD AS COLD COULD BE INSTEAD OF WHAT YOU ARE—LUKEWARM! Therefore remember for someone to have been COLD all their life means they have been destitute from the grace and goodness of God. however, once you get such a person around the fire of his Spirit of regeneration and they discover there is something that can warm them and thaw them out watch that person begin to hunger and thirst after righteousness and, to any person who hungers and thirsts after righteousness God can do something for that person, he can fill them with his Holy Spirit and fire as the scripture plainly declares, they that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. (Matt. 5:6). See, they are hungry and thirsty! However, a person who has a cup of LUKEWARM fellowship to offer the Lord on the basis of a LUKEWARM experience literally reveals how close to the fire they lived. No doubt that LUKEWARM person thinks his cup of fellowship to be HOT enough to be accepted thus feeling no real burden or desire to move up in the Spirit whereby the fire may be heated in their bosom.
ATTITUDE PROMOTES LUKEWARM DRINK
Notice verse 17, especially for it is here we are reading the very cause the last gentile church age served him this LUKEWARM drink, because within their thinking they actually don’t feel any need for a closer walk nor any need to embrace more revelation seeing their attitude toward the Lord’s visit is thus. I AM (already) RICH AND INCREASED WITH GOODS AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING! Note those thoughts belong to the church age. This is what God says the church age is thinking! Although notice what God says to her as to what her real condition is—YOU THINK YOU ARE RICH AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING, God says, KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, MISERABLE, POOR, BLIND AND NAKED AND YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW IT!! I AM RICH, says the church age. See that materialistic spirit now appearing! This definitely is the only age in which such a statement could possibly be fulfilled! No other age declared themselves to be rich and had need of nothing as did Laodicea! Naturally this implies to be natural as well as spiritual. Because all this religious gentile world is interested and concerned with- is materialistic benefits– a better home, a nicer automobile to drive, a finer church to sit in, along with all the luxuries this life can afford. See it is this one church age which said she had need of nothing because she thought she was already rich.
LAODICEA AND HER RICHES, NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL
Nevertheless, we must never underestimate the carnal riches of Laodicea as she truly does have more than any other age has ever had. Coming within her age was the most advanced technology in many fields of science to make life easier. The Laodicean age began approximately 1906 as man was on the threshold of many scientific breakthroughs which in turn would make life much easier and more pleasant for the average man (churchgoer). It made life much easier alright, as far as God was concerned it just about put man to sleep! In the field of technology and science man grew wiser, however concerning the important things of life such as one’s spiritual standing with God, he grew weaker and less concerned about a true experience or salvation for his soul! The more they looked at what the age of technology had produced the more disinterested the church age became in a true experience of salvation, of real through revelation by the Spirit. Now we have reached the point, just any old way will do as far as salvation is concerned, yet material wise they wanted the very best—their eyes had gone to the wrong thing! Slowly church members began to pattern their life after the things of the world as they strictly worshipped at the idol shrine of materialistic wealth and the luxury the almighty dollar could afford. Their main objective became a high standard of living.
Yet what about the soul, what about the innerman, what about the fire and what about the fuel which is desperately needed to heat God a piping HOT cup of fellowship, steaming off our experience and relationship with him!! That now seems so unimportant!
LAODICEA, A SCALE FOR MEASURING RICHES
We live in an age today when it appears to the nominal church world that success for God is strictly measured on the scale of wealth and materialism. For example, measured by how beautiful our church buildings are, how much we spent to build or remodel, how large our congregations are as well as the size of the contributions. Watch out, once our eyes go to these things to become the scale whereby success and accomplishment for God is measured, it won’t be long before they begin to compromise and cut corners on God’s Word to please the multitude using every kind of rally, every kind of soup supper, every kind of thing imaginable to build something! Why? Because the Laodicean age is that age or spirit whereby greatness and success in God is measured on just such a scale as this, measured on the scale of materialistic prosperity!
LAODICEA, A RICH AND POOR AGE
Oh, how rich this age actually thinks it is to be so deceived. Listen to God as he expresses to the tl church age why they had been so unconcerned and set before him a LUKEWARM cup of fellowship when he came into the age for a special visit. To the church world, God says, you say you are rich. Yes, materially they are rich, richer than any previous church ever dreamed of being. Never before has the church been as rich to actually be so poor, to be so wretched, to be so miserable and last of all to be so naked before God. Yes, materially she is rich; spiritually she is poor! Rich in all kinds of property, rich in every kind of material wealth, owner of much property, apartment houses, factories of all descriptions, wineries as well as liquor and beer distilleries. While spiritually bootlegging or presenting to the age a poor, bedraggled gospel (drink ), mainly manufactured or prepared in Babylon and distributed to the world. It is an unauthorized wine and can by no means qualify as the new heavenly wine (or apbstolic truth) as taught by the apostles. No this church world could care less about what they drink or what is truth! They felt they had all the truth wrapped up in their own particular movements and no wonder their reply to the eternal God when he came into the age by revelation was I AM RICH AND INCREASED WITH GOODS AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING. To this God replies, OH, if you could only see yourself as you really are. You are not rich, however I could make you rich. You say you have need of nothing, I say you are poor and have need of much. You say you can see everything there is to see in the Word through your own particular special ground denominational eye glasses, your ideas and teachings: but I say you are blind and badly in need of my eyesalve! You say you are clothed with all that is necessary of my revelated truth to make it. Nevertheless I say, you are naked and are badly in need of spiritual revelation clothing of righteousness to hide the shame of your nakedness. This of course is paraphrasing verses 17-18 although in reality that is exactly what God is saying to the church age and what she in turn is saying to him. The church was majoring in the minor and for this she must pay. The scripture is careful to point out what the eyes of this church age is truly upon, that spirit of prosperity and wealth.
Is that not about the size of many testimonies heard today—I thank God he gave me this or he gave me that. He helped me to get all this money. He helped me to get all this wealth: he helped me to get these factories, OH, look what the Lord has given to me! Yes, beloved and all these things are perishable. All these things are what you would accept; however, what about the non- perishable truth or revelation of God’s Word that he would have enjoyed placing in your soul to have fed the fire of regeneration in order you would have been HOT for him? Instead the age’s only interest appears to be centered upon material blessings. God tried to offer this age something that when this world is on fire their true riches would never perish, instead endure forever!
He offered them such a fellowship with his true revelated word but this they refused! God not only offered to this age the greatest spiritual riches found in his storehouse, he also allowed the age of people more potential to accumulate even canal riches and luxury than any other past age in history. Nevertheless, what did they do with it? What did Israel do with hers? Like Israel to whom God gave a land which flowed with milk and honey, they turned it into a life of lust, consuming. it upon their own evil ways and soon forgot all about the Lord! Is that not exactly what this age has done?
FIVE WORDS DESCRIBE LAODICEA’S CONDITION
The Almighty chose FIVE words to describe the condition found in the Laodicean Church according to verse 17, such words as WRETCHED, MISERABLE, POOR, BLIND AND NAKED. These five words we need to examine in order to gather somewhat a better picture of exactly what the Almighty saw as the condition was of Laodicea.
1–WRETCHED, WHAT IS IT
The first word used to describe Laodicea’s condition was WRETCHED. What a terrible condition to be in, yet even worse is to be WRETCHED and not be aware of it! Let us take for example some pitiful old man or woman who. throughout their lifetime, has scrimped and saved in order to lay up riches (dollars) only to hide it away somewhere in an old mattress or stuff the wealth in old jars. All their lives they lusted, scrimped, and craved that almighty dollar only to hide it away. Here is a scene of wretchedness. Never wore decent clothes, instead wore rags; refused to eat properly; ate only stale bread in order to save another dollar as though they had need of it to exist. Naturally they wouldn’t spend any money for any physical enjoyment this potential wealth could bring them. Finally they reached a point in life where the older they become the more decrepit and grouchy they become, becoming more difficult to fellowship, (more set in their own ways). Although we are looking at a WRETCHED person we are actually trying to see what the church age called Laodicea was like once it began to get some age on it. These poor people living this way so long have now accepted it as a standard of life. Nothing is worse than seeing some old man wearing dingy, holey overalls and having long hair and snaggle teeth—he has simply lost interest and pride in himself. While in the background you know there are literally thousands of dollars hidden away somewhere. He is missing every pleasure of life to have this, and for what! If he is going to live in this manner why does he need all this wealth! Likewise is it true with the Church, what good will it do them in the end? Getting around these miserable, wretched creatures, never seeing them smile, everything going wrong; living in some old dilapidated house full of cobwebs—truly these people are wretched and not rich. However like the Laodicean Church they do not realize they are WRETCHED, they don’t realize they are miserable. The church says SHE IS RICH AND HAS NEED OF NOTHING but God sees her just the opposite. Looking upon this gentile religious world in all its rich culture and education. God sees this Church Age portrayed as it actually is- Poor carnally educated people, rich in the wisdom of man; through educated reasoning has educated themselves completely out of line with God’s Word. When God comes down into an age he is capable of speaking the language of even an old uneducated farmer as well as the language of the intellectual.
Bear in mind the old wretched miser as we continue to look at the second word describing the actual condition of Laodicea. The church which refused fellowship with truth, offering him instead a cup of LUKEWARM fellowship. God says they are MISERABLE. In reality, no doubt, many of these WRETCHED old characters, hiding away their life savings, if they would admit it would tell us they are miserable, how could they be anything else? Once in a while one of these wretched, miserable old misers will awaken to the truth and come to their senses. Some relative perhaps dropped by one day giving his uncle a slap on the back saying, why don’t you wake up and see the light: loosen up and spend a little of that wealth; clean up this old house, buy yourself a decent suit of clothes and freshen up a bit. Well, he did and after a while you see him freshly shaven and with a haircut looking very good. What happened? He simply became tired of being a WRETCHED, MISERABLE character, that’s all, and thought he would come out into the sunlight. Now he can be seen walking the street with a spring in his step, greeting people with a cheery smile. HE SIMPLY BECAME TIRED OF LIVING IN THAT MISERABLE STATE!
Can’t you see it, the same is true spiritually. When the dear Lord came knocking on our heart’s door through the revelation of the e message of truth the gentile Laodicean people of the age. e already WRETCHED, MISERABLE, BLIND, AND NAKED were all sitting around in some dark, dingy, aged old denominational system thinking they were rich and having everything yet so LUKEWARM only in some makeshift testimony – one if you heard it today would be the same next year provided they decided to testify. No progress whatsoever, just the same old humdrum testimony. Even to hear that you had to drag it out of them.
TESTIMONY OF WEALTH
Brother, this is not the case when an individual is on fire for God. You don’t have to drag testimonies out of them, instead it automatically bubbles out. As I stated before when boiling water reaches a certain boiling point what happens? Ever watch a boiling coffee pot? If you are not careful it will run out over everything. Why? Because it is boiling HOT! The same is true spiritually. The church definitely thought they were RICH AND INCREASED WITH GOODS. This is an age which has truly been increased with much wealthy goods, however God could care less what kind of house you live in, whether it cost $50,000 or $10,000—that doesn’t impress God in the least. He will not judge my success in my spiritual growth in him by an increase of material goods. Therefore I say he is not the least interested nor concerned in such testimonies of certain people, especially shall we say in those Full Gospel Business Men’s groups who are always testifying to the wealth God has given them. What he is primarily concerned with as we see here is whether or not we are LUKEWARM in our experience: whether we are a people who in return for his goodness has gotten on fire for him! If this is not the case he is not him! If this is not the case he is not the least bit concerned about our position in wealth. They can stand and declare he helped them make 50 million dollars, and this he may have done, nevertheless the question remains-what have they done with it. Did you ever observe these Full Gospel Businessmen’s testimonies— it is always what kind of business God permitted them to have as they took God in as a partner in business. I don’t doubt that, but why did they do it—to strictly get more money because they recognize it is the law of God whereby if you give a tenth you will receive more in return, that is simply an established law of the Almighty. But what about that man’s soul? When God comes into fellowship with that individual with more truth and says to him, will you accept my name in water baptism or will you embrace more of my revelated word? Well, God that is a horse of a different color, nevertheless I want you to know I will always testify how you made me rich and gave me those factories. HOGWASH!! God didn’t come in to fellowship you over the basis of a dollar bill! God will be good to people only to see if in return they will have enough liking for him to allow him to set their souls on fire with revelated truth.
Yet they testify to being so happy when God plainly says, THEY WHO REFUSE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM ARE MISERABLE, POOR, WRETCHED BLIND AND NAKED. One healing evangelist adopted this phrase, SOMETHING GOOD IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU! Not according to this verse is something good going to happen to you unless you allow God to fellowship your spirit in truth and you are found to be HOT and not LUKEWARM! You may talk about your wealth and goods, you may even discuss your huge crowds and boast over your rallies nevertheless you mustn’t forget in it all that God says you are poor–poor as Job’s turkey. Poor he says though you may be very rich with untold numbers of dollars in property. Remember beloved, all that wealth combined could not buy one morsel of spiritual bread nor could it give sight to the spiritual blinded eyes nor clothe their spiritual nakedness! Spiritually, poorer than those unfortunate ones depending on a welfare check. The church world is filthy rich, investors in property. apartment houses, factories etc.. and we like to say we are doing this for God, Nevertheless God says you are still poor. See, he isn’t looking upon their kind of riches. He doesn’t judge man upon that basis. His only concern is, are they rich in spiritual things! Watch closely there are other words describing the condition of the Laodicean Age — BLIND and NAKED!
Recall it wasn’t the church who stated she was thus, IT WAS GOD. Some of those poor, wretched, miserable characters of which we displayed earlier as illustrations would never admit they were wretched — no they have simply lived that way so long (lived to themselves) they accept all this misery as a way of life. They are simply unaware there is much more they could have enjoyed. So it is true with the church world as the Lord declares their WRETCHED, MISERABLE, POOR, BLIND, NAKED condition. If a man makes his life miserable he has done it himself, therefore I can say any individual within the Laodicean Age who refuses to become spiritually on fire for God and fails to allow God to open his storehouse and place a few treasures and riches within his life, that individual is MISERABLE, WRETCHED, AND POOR… yes, and even NAKED, and it is he that has allowed himself to remain in that condition.
That is true, the Bride of Christ will be fully clothed at the Wedding Supper, however, this poor age would have nothing to wear to the wedding. How difficult it is to explain things to a blind person. Therefore how can you awaken a people of this age in order to see something when the Lord himself declares they are spiritually blind! OH, they are able to see the glitter of wealth with their natural eye, however the Almighty isn’t discussing their natural eyes, he speaks of their spiritual eyes and of them he says THEY ARE BLIND. Poor souls, so taken up by the world in its beauty and wealth, our God is trying to get them to see much further unto a far greater value of something spiritual other than this carnal material to which they are looking. It is the spiritual world which actually affects man’s soul. Church age, God says, you are BLIND! Beloved did you ever try to explain what a horse looks ; like to a blind man. He wouldn’t know whether the tail went on the back or front of the horse. That is being blind. I am reminded of a story of three blind men who attempted to describe the body of an elephant simply by what part they felt and my, what descriptions they came up with— one felt of its tail and drew the conclusion of what the animal was like without any knowledge of the rest of the body. Another touched its huge leg and what a conclusion he drew while the other man touched his trunk and from what little they had I felt they gave their description of what they thought the animal looked like. It reminds me so much of this blind, naked, miserable, poor, wretched Laodicean Age people with a revelation. Their spiritual blindness prevents them from seeing what you are talking about concerning the revelation. Truly it is terrible to be physically BLIND and by no means am I belittling physical blindness. However, God calls this church age BLIND —they can’t see truth! Scream and tell them there is a cliff ahead, they simply don’t see it! Tell them destruction is out there they don’t see it; tell them truth is in the earth, they simply can’t see it.
Now a look at NAKEDNESS! For some reason the people don’t realize they are NAKED, this is due to their BLINDNESS. How could a blind person know what one would look like in their NAKEDNESS! Certainly they couldn’t by sight-they would only know by the touch or feel. They could only go by the clothes they were able to feel. Blind people have no idea what they look like NAKED; they have never seen themselves nor anyone else, likewise buying clothes to the blind must go strictly by feeling. Therefore what else could you expect out of this BLIND, NAKED church world other than to be absorbed in all these fads and fashions of the world?
EVIL SPIRITS OF NOAH & LOT’S DAY DUMPED INTO LAODICEA
In passing we might add that although it is fully established within the Laodicean Church this is an age of materialism and wealth, nevertheless seeing this is the last and final age it must be remembered also from Jesus’ discussion concerning the closing days before his return in both Matthew and Luke, he described those last days to be much like the days of Noah and the days of Lot.
The Laodicean Age being the final age is the very one that all these spirits must be dumped into to fulfill the words of Christ and these spirits and conditions are ever present, moving rapidly into the age for a take over. When Christ spoke of conditions to be as the day of Noah and the days of Lot and Sodom, what did he have reference to? He was speaking of a day of great immorality and this immorality would absolutely become the order of the day on a worldwide scale, it will deal much with the moral situation. Sad to say, but we are living in a day when there is very little difference between the nominal church world in its attire and makeup than that of the cold, cruel world. Whv did the Lord say Laodicea was NAKED spiritually?
CLOTHING FOR BRIDE
Simply because they had failed to purchase from him the pure white raiment of righteousness in which he desired them to be clothed. Scripture teaches, put ye on (the revelation) the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14). That, of course, is none other than the garment made from woven fibre of divine revelation referred to in Rev 19- 7- cover their NAKEDNESS one must be clothed in the pure righteousness of the Lord although to do that the scales of blindness must first be lifted from their -blinded eyes in order to see how to purchase this woven fiber of divine revelation. Only Laodicea is described as being NAKED and how well does that description go into this day seeing the spirit of Sodom as well as the spirits prior to the day of the flood would all be dumped in Laodicea shortly before Christ’s return. How well that typifies a LUKEWARM Laodicean people. who are absolutely taken up by these spirits of the world. Who, beloved, other than worldly People could possibly project these spirits characterized in this very setting spoken of by Jesus? Nevertheless sad to say, as the Lord looks on the age of people who are supposed to make what the world declares is a church, God sees the nominal church world almost as COLD as the COLD cruel world itself and is not the world itself desiring to go NAKED? NAKEDNESS, morally speaking. is the order of the day. Because of this NAKEDNESS and the influence it suggests upon the nominal lukewarm church world, she now reaches out and embraces the very fashions, styles and fads the COLD – DEAD world has instituted. As the world paraded it before the carnal church world, the nominal church world reached out and embraced it, yet refuses what God has to offer her! Hence God now looks upon the nominal church world as being COLD also. Why? Because they are just as much taken up with this spirit of the world, where in it maybe said the spirit of the world is just as much inside the church as it is on the outside. Recall, when you pour COLD water into something which at one time was HOT, that something begins to lose its HEAT consistency as well as its HEAT temperature. Therefore we see the thermometer temperature of these two classes have proven to be approximately the same as we move toward the end. The world is COLD and dead having no life nor fire of God. Out of it comes all the immorals, the outlandish fashions, and styles portraying the spirit of the day. Immorality– especially perversion and everything came out of the COLD dead world along with great billboards portraying woman as a sex model and the nominal church world who isn’t any better off swallowed it hook, line and sinker! Truly this is an hour the church world wears nothing but a cloak of deceit and deception. In their hearts they are just as worldly as the COLD dead world ever thought of being. Seemingly there is no difference, God can’t revelate them nor set them on fire. Why? Simply because they don’t want to be set on fire, they want to be like the world, look like the world, act like the world and dress like the world!
However that is not true concerning that overcomer in verses 20-21 who recognized the knock on the heart’s door to be that of God, invited him in and set before the Lord a HOT cup to sup. That overcomer was more than grateful to welcome his Lord whereby they might have fellowship in the Holy Ghost as the Almighty imparted truth, revelation and understanding that the overcomer might be illuminated and his very being set on fire with the presence of truth and who in return set before his Lord a HOT cup of fellowship to show appreciation for his Lord’s interest in his individual life by visiting and fellowshipping him. That individual, stimulated and encouraged will never submit to the spirit or the Fashions and fads of this world.
’60’S WITNESSED IMMORAL PERMISSIVENESS
Back in the ’60s there came into this age a feeling to begin to lean heavily toward sex perversion being accepted in society. Holy Matrimony seemed to be only a thing to be laughed at as prostitutes and immoral women began to receive as much recognition in society as that of the virtuous woman who stayed home and raised her children. This is a day when you may crawl as low as you desire and the cry of the world is only to encourage you in doing your thing because we have now, as they say, a permissive society. We must forgive! That is true but let me tell you forgiveness is always met by the acknowledgement of true repentance.
Let us now watch that spirit which came from the COLD world as it hits this LUKEWARM gentile church age. Yes, we recognize the spirit we are about to discuss come out of the world yet look how the church world went after it. Whereas if the church world had been on fire for God they never would have bought it. However being BLIND and going only by what they FEEL, they embraced it. Had they been on fire they would have hated and detested the very sight of the things seeing Paul wrote in Thessalonians how the believer or overcomer should despise and shun the very appearance of evil.
WORLD AND HER MINI
The one thing the spirit of the world began to do was portray and uplift womanhood as a sex idol and it wasn’t long until the mini-skirt began to appear. first in the world then in the church. That woman who fashioned and designed the first mini-skirt, which at first only a few women were brazen enough to wear in public, made it for a certain symbol. However like the Beatles from England with their long hair it wasn’t long until it seemed every young girl in college and schools of learning thought it was the very thing to be worn and seemingly with them the shorter the better until clothing manufacturers recognized it would be the fashion of the day, However.
I want you to know the woman who created that mini-skirt, according to her own testimony printed in a certain magazine back around 1967 declared it was a sign or symbol, when worn would signify the woman wearing it would be expressing her desire to go to bed with any man, anytime. Shame on womanhood today who would dare be found wearing such a disgraceful piece of apparel, the very sign of a harlot! And what happened to the woman of the church world, they too bought it for a style. Note I didn’t say the christian, Holy Ghost woman bought it, because she did not! Women soon became too proud to wear a decent dress as the fad of the mini-skirt became the fashion of the day. Beloved, God is not coming for a church portrayed in a mini-skirt. To the young people, boys and girls whom the devil seeks to possess and destroy their thinking, don’t you ever think for a moment Jesus is pleased with your clambering over these ungodly fashions that is being pushed off on the youth today. You are simply not going to be with Jesus if your heart’s desire seeks after these things. Therefore unaware of what the mini-skirt symbolizes as it became the accepted fashion of the day, young girls including their mothers, yes, and even their grandmothers began to purchase this thing. What could be more sickening than seeing some grey haired woman wearing a short skirt, sitting around an airport smoking a cigarette as we have so often seen. It is blasphemous, it is a reproach to her femininity, if she has any left! This is a day when femininity has lost its respect.
Thank God, Satan will never get them all. There will always be a few who will still have respect enough for themselves as a woman to not identify themselves with this trash. It seems young girls can’t wait to get out of diapers until they have one of these devilish skirts on. This is a day when woman thinks more of her legs than she does her face. Why? Because it is the spirit of the day. She has been made into a sex model and idol and it is the devil who portrays Carnal woman as she appears today.
MINI IN THE CHURCH
As the mini-skirt became an accepted establish fashion among women it too became a symbol of sex. Where did that mini-skirt come from? No Holy Ghost woman designed it and no Holy Ghost filled woman wears it. The world created it and only worldly women whether in the church or out of the church wears it. It came from the world and the devil inspired the very character who made it to be a sex symbol and did you know it wasn’t any time before young girls in the church began to wear it. Young people, you can’t be on fire for God and wear such a thing as that! You may say, I mean well, but I say OH NO, you don’t mean well! As much as I hate to differ with you, you couldn’t mean well—you simply don’t realize the seriousness of the age. That thing came from the world and God won’t accept it. It belongs to the prostitutes and to that camp of hippies out there and everything else rotten and disgraceful in the eyes of God.
It is an established fact rape jumped 60 percent after that style or fashion became accepted and still some church people will say I can’t see anything wrong with it. Of course you can’t, you are blind! God says so! You can’t tell a blind person they don’t look good even though they have very little on. Once that mini-skirt began to be worn by the world I suppose in the ranks of the nominal church when the girls first began to appear with the ungodly things on sitting in the pews, eyebrows were raised in disapproval and no doubt things were said from the pulpit however, once the women began to miss church by staying home, recognizing they were not accepted in the fellowship, but after having missed Sunday School and several services and the pastor noticed his crowd falling away as that spirit had now invaded the church, mothers began to say if my daughter is not going I will not go either and the pastor realizing it was because of his statements concerning the mini-skirt although his convictions may not have changed he simply refused to say anymore against it. What a shame, isn’t someone on fire? Have we lost our zeal for God and now have more love for the things of the world than for the Lord Jesus!
The poor denominational pastor simply can’t stand the pressure. Looking over his congregation, he sees one of the sisters isn’t present but he knows why— it is because of her teenage daughter and her desire to wear the mini-skirt, which her pastor has been condemning. Since the preacher can’t stand the thoughts of losing his crowd, he begins slacking up on his position, and now the congregation slowly yields to the wearing of the mini-skirt and soon that which was fashioned by the world and designed as a symbol of harlotry, becomes an acceptable church fashion and everywhere young girls appear sitting in the church pew wearing a short skirt. That church environment which began so pure, holy, and clean on the day of Pentecost has now stooped to such a low detestable and reproachful end!
BIG FLOWERED MAXIS
Not long after the mini-skirt, the world introduced the big, flowered maxi dress and although I had ten times rather see women wearing something long than something short I still would like to ask the sisters one heart searching question, why did you have to wait until the world began wearing it as a fashion before you became interested in wearing something that long? Why do you have to buy it now, seeing it was first designed strictly by and for the world? No my sisters, I am not opposed to you wearing a long dress, long dresses are nothing new, your pioneer grandmothers wore them. The religious Amish and Mennonite women have always worn them. However what I have difficulty in understanding is why did the church women take interest in long dresses only after the world Introduced the maxi? As long as the Amish and Mennonite women walked the streets in their long skirt, no one seemed to take interest yet let that same ungodly worldly bunch who wants to kick every decent moral down the drain, smoke every kind of mixture, eat every kind of pill, lay around one day in a mini and the next day in a maxi (this you never saw the religious Mennonite women do). Why only after this class of the ungodly world began wearing the maxi did the church women show any interest whatsoever in the long dress? As I said, if you want to wear a long dress, why don’t you make it yourself and not model it after the hippie crowd, instead model it after the long dress of the old grandmothers and the Mennonite women? One thing is sure, when that Amish woman steps out of her buggy she doesn’t have to be careful how she gets down. However, I repeat, when they were the only ones wearing long dresses, no one showed interest!
Now this I want to say concerning the maxi as the ungodly world designed it and sold it to the church— It seems women who wore the mini skirt, one day decided they needed something a little more respectable to walk up Main Street in, something to give them a little more virtuous look therefore they wear the maxi. Now brace yourself, as I am going to tell you what it signifies. The maxi as the world designed it and sold it to the church is absolutely a symbol of hypocrisy because the same woman you see wear the maxi on the street if she was watched close enough you would see her the next time in her mini skirt! TO ME THAT IS A HYPOCRITE! Young christian ladies, either you put on the garment of righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ and get dressed up in his righteousness to be ready to go to be with Jesus or when this world begins to sink you will sink with it! When Jesus comes he will take one good look at what you are wearing on the outside of your body, because what you wear will positively portray the spirit on the inside motivating and guiding your life. I warn you if that spirit within you craves and lusts to walk after all these fashions of this world, you will be in trouble. Again I say, if you want to wear a long dress, why do you choose to wear one that identifies you or causes you to look like you came out of a hippy camp and secondly why do you have to call it a maxi when the older women in days gone by always wore long dresses yet never one of them ever once called their long dresses a MAXI! As far as wearing a long dress, I repeat, there is nothing wrong there nevertheless, to choose the maxi as the world designed it (and not as the pioneer mothers or Amish women wore theirs) is nothing but the cloak of hypocrisy! One thing was sure, you never saw the women of old wearing an extremely long dress one day and an extremely short dress the next day as this worldly crowd does with the mini and maxi. Why can’t you simply say I am going to have a long dress like my grandmother wore?
MAXI SOLD TO CHURCH
Yes, the world introduced the maxi and sold the church on it, nonetheless, the old denominational pastor sighed with relief when he saw the maxi in his congregation instead of so many mini skirts. No doubt he said to himself, there is a sister who for weeks wore her mini-skirt, well she does look more decent with her maxi on, at least her legs are covered, yet deep in the old pastor’s heart he knows tomorrow no doubt this same sister will have her mini-skirt on once again. In leaving this thought I want to say any church woman who wears a maxi simply because the world designed it as a fashion-if she gets the chance will also wear a mini. It is nothing but an embrace of hypocrisy and that is exactly how the devil wants womanhood to stand out. This way he can use her any way he chooses— one day she wears her mini-skirt and looks like a prostitute. Come Sunday she can put on her maxi, parade in the church and look like a saint! God help us who live in the age of hypocrisy, deceit, and deception!
Next the world introduced the hot pants. Already the church has become sold on the mini and the maxi, what about the hot pants? Remember not one of these fashions came from the church nor even from a decent minded person but strictly from the world. Nothing but a bunch of sex perverts designed it and the devil sold it to the blind religious church woman and her daughter! Today it is nothing to see a young girl wearing hot pants along with her maxi skirt and it split right up the center! What is it? Nothing but a means of advertising their sexual profile before manhood and the blind gentile church world says, I don’t see anything wrong with it-so they bought it!
Next came the wig. Normally unless there is an unnatural cause, women would never be required to wear a wig. Desiring to wear wigs stems from being dissatisfied with the color of one’s own hair. A few years ago women dyed their hair; today they don’t bother. Some fellow struck upon the idea how to make himself rich and at the same time speed up the process for the woman therefore they started making wigs–grey, red, purple, black, brown, yellow etc.,–charging from $15, to $50 and even more. Now the woman says I will buy some new wigs. Therefore one day she wears her mini with her blonde wig: her brown wig with her maid and her purple one with her hot pants. She changes so often it has reached a point you don’t even know whose wife she is or what she is looking for, or where she is even going. Excuse me, I do know where she is going, she is going straight down to a burning hell because the Bible says they are all going in there. whoremongers, adulterers, fornicators, sorcerers, murderers, drunkards, they are all going there! Rev. 21:8. But you may say,…
COLLABORATING WITH WORLD SPIRIT IS FATAL
Bro. Jackson, I have never done anything like that in my life! Then young lady why do you choose to identify yourself with such a crowd that does? Don’t you know the law of the land says if you associate yourself with bank robbers you are just as liable for the penalty. Why? because you are considered as a collaborator and I warn you God sees it the same way. If you choose to identify yourself with such a worldly, ungodly crowd, one in which God’s Word has already condemned and declared he will destroy. Identify yourself with that crowd and God will destroy you also because he looks upon you as a collaborator with that spirit. Why else would he say come out from among them my people and be ye separate, said the Lord. II Cor. 6:17.
REFUSING WHAT GOD OFFERS
Note this carefully, the nominal church world, because of their blindness, refused to be clothed with the revelation of God’s Word which he brought to the age. Nevertheless, look what they chose to be clothed with instead! How do you tell them they are naked when they are blind, especially when we live in a day that people enjoy being naked. Look for a moment at nylon material, a material which needs no ironing. I am not condemning nylon only desiring to make a spiritual point. Through scientific research and creation of certain chemicals, man has been able to make a material whereby he may sleep in it without it being wrinkled. Spiritually speaking, is that not exactly the kind of material the church world has made for herself: A material of man made doctrine, of man made creed! They can sleep in it and not get it wrinkled, yet in God’s sight it’s nothing but a mini-skirt; they can roll in it, get drunk in it and never mess it up. If by chance it got soiled all they need do is go back to some church suppers or a few socials, take it off, dip it in a few times, it dries in minutes and they put it right back on. Yet, in the sight of God their material is nothing but a bare mini-skirt.
ACCEPTING WHAT WORLD OFFERS
We are at the end of the age, everything seems to slide right into pattern, whatever fad or fashion begins in the world seems to be dumped straight into the church. About the time this spirit of the rebellious anti-christ began moving through the earth to regather all churches (spiritual women) Under one head a movement among natural women also began to get a new foothold called, “WOMEN’S LIBERATION.” Once they had begin to advance this (be equal) idea throughout other nations, “Women’s Liberation” finally changed to a shorter name of Women’s Lib and when they did this it wasn’t long before they designed the pantsuit especially for the career woman who symbolizes and pushes this Women’s Liberation. Stories and photographs began to appear showing these women holding their banners, organizing their committees, pressuring local and state government as well as industries to give the woman equal rights with the man, something, by the way, she can never have because of the curse in the Garden of Eden. God took her equal rights away after her fall. (Gen. 3:16) Finally, as the politicians backed down, signing legislation to give women equal rights, assuring no discrimination, if you didn’t see these women with the mini, maxi, or hot pants they wore, now the latest thing on the market the Women’s Liberation suit (Pants suit). Dear soul, the world designed that for the liberated woman, however it is sad to say after it made its round through the business and professional world, and the housewife, it headed straight for the church. Now they come to church with the LIB SUITS and the Wig, and the sad part is many of these are supposed to be Holy Ghost filled women. Like the mini and the maxi, the Lib Suit also was produced for symbol. A symbol of what–a symbol to show those who wore them were accepting this false headship, and kicking off the yoke of feminine submission (which had been t placed on her in the Garden of Eden by the fall, Gen. 3:16).
WOMEN LIB PANTS CHURCH BOUGHT THEM TOO
Now they have four major items, all of which have affected and is worn by the church women as well as the world. Do you realize there is only a few worldly women you won’t see decked out in at least one of these four fashions? Occasionally you will see a woman, maybe she is not interested in attending church yet holds high moral standards, walking down the street in a decent dress. By the way she walks and acts you can tell there is still a little decency for herself left within her. However, bring that over into the church world where such a thing should never be seen and there they sit. If it isn’t a mini, it is a maxi or either a Lib Suit and also wearing a wig. One Sunday they look this way, the next they look that. It would be hard for even the Lord to tell, by appearance, whether they are a sinner or saint! Therefore he refers to all this as LUKEWARM.
LONG HAIR, BEARDS, & SIDEBURNS
Just as you see womanhood displayed today inside and outside the church, let us take an examination of the men inside and outside the church. When long hair hit this world it neither sprang from the church world. On the contrary, its origin was in England from four boys the world soon recognized as, The Beatles, who with their rock and roll, bang, bang group left England and came to America and brought with them a style of long hair that shook this world. It wasn’t long until after these four boys who came from a very poor background began standing on platforms across England making all kinds of vulgar motions and suggestions with their bodies, beating and banging on instruments, with their long hair flopping in the wind and the youth screaming and going wild, that Rock groups around the country began to form, all wearing long hair. Why, it seemed a contest developed to see which could have the longest, shaggiest, bushiest, unkept appearance. From there it seemed this spirit spread into the business world and then to the common boy on the street and then one Sunday Morning that spirit of rebellion identified by long, unruly, unmanaged hair came to church.
LONG HAIR COMES TO CHURCH
Sure the preacher at first cried out a little, although he knew from his experience with the mini-skirt it was a losing battle as he well remembered the reaction of the congregation. It wasn’t long before things cooled again and half the congregation was sitting there in that rebellious spirit of long, unruly hair, and it was growing longer and longer. Growing weird, bushy sideburns, long mustaches, and beards until finally the preacher says, what’s the use, everybody else is doing it, I might as well join the camp too! Again I remind you, this spirit did not begin first in the church, no, it crawled out of the dark corners of the world and invaded the church, out of the hippie camps etc!! Therefore today it isn’t anything to see what is supposed to be tongue speaking, Holy Ghost filled preachers with beards, goatees, long hair, shaggy sideburns, looking worse than the devil himself. Wyatt Earp, the old western law marshall, looked like a gentleman compared to what is presented today. What a weak, shameful, disgraceful generation of blind gentile people we are turning out at the end! No wonder God looks down upon this poor age and says it is naked, miserable, wretched, blind, poor as we embrace the spirit of all this long unruly hair, which is nothing but a spirit of rebellion and belongs in the camp of the sex perverts, dope addicts, those who rebel against government, lawless, violent; all that crowd embraces the long hair, shaggy sideburns, unkept beards.
PREACHER JOINS CROWD
Like the mini, the maxi, hot pants, Lib britches, it is all a style of this world and has no place in the church! It should be kept out there in the world and that would be bad enough. But to think the nominal, blind LUKEWARM church embraced all of it and then when the preachers began to look like one, God forbid! The only difference between the preacher and the worldly bunch is he may take a bath a little more often. If you saw the two walking down Main St.. together and someone asked which one of the two is supposed to have received the Holy Ghost, from their looks and actions it would almost be a gamble to say which one did have the Holy Ghost!
SIGN OF REBELLION
Again I say, this long hair with its accompanying bushy, unmanaged sideburns, and beards is a spirit and a sign of rebellion. Even scripture itself teaches it is a shame for a man to have long hair (I Cor. 11:14). Long unruly hair became the identity of the evils of the dope addict, sex pervert, hippie camps, protestors, etc. Furthermore, it has absolutely become the identifying mark showing young manhood is becoming more and more feminine while young girls in their faded blue jeans and denim shirts are appearing more masculine. It appears both sexes are definitely trying to come up on the same level. A boy and girl walks together, her long hair parted in the middle and down to her shoulders and his long hair parted in the middle and down to his shoulders, many times both in a ponytail–you absolutely cannot distinguish between the two— the Lord himself only knows which is the boy! Yes, beloved, all this came out of a cold, dead, rebellious world and didn’t stop until it invaded the church pews of the religious. Now religious singing groups alike have become addicted to the spirit of long hair and you can’t tell them apart from the raw rock and roll groups of the land. If Jesus came today, believe me, he would put them all in the same place because if we identify ourselves with that spirit we are a collaborator with that spirit and not with the Spirit of Christ. If this is what your heart craves for, to look and act, smell, and be like the cold, dead world with all its fashions and fads, then get to the world as fast as you can because you are neither COLD NOR HOT BUT LUKEWARM AND WILL BE SPEWED OUT OF HIS MOUTH! HEAT IT UP OR THROW IT OUT BACK TO THE WORLD.
A closing word concerning this spirit of materialism and the true revelated Christian— there are certain things in this world we cannot live without, we need a roof over our heads, food on our table and some of the bare necessities of life but anything other than that which we actually need could easily become a desire to fulfill a lust of the flesh and become wrapped up in materialism. Hence, I leave with you the following scripture for a guideline. In Phil. 4:11 Paul says, Be content with what ye have; With this verse also connect Matt. 6: 33-34, Heb. 13: 5, I Tim. 6: 6.
Remember when the Lord visits your heart you had better be fired up on the revelation of his truth in order to set before him a HOT cup of fellowship which sets off such an aroma or fragrance it will stimulate his taste buds whereby He will swallow that which you offer him instead of spewing it out. I tell you this beloved because I don’t want your blood on my hands. The fellowship the Lord is seeking is not one whereby a congregation is filled with the worldly fashions of the day because if that be true he will knock on your heart’s door and you will be so LUKEWARM you Will never in a million years be able to serve him what he is seeking–why? Because you will be so wrapped up in all this spirit of materialism, spirit of styles, fashions, and fads and Christ will SPEW OUT OF HIS MOUTH WHAT YOU OFFERED HIM. Why, because he can’t fellowship with you over revelation and illuminating truth because you are all engrossed with things he is not the slightest concerned in discussing in his fellowship.
Therefore may we be wrapped up in the things of God, clothed in his Spirit and be HOT and on fire bubbling up and running over when he visits our hearts for fellowship.