THE FINAL COUNSEL OF THE AGES
Revelation 3:18-19. "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
The counsel of God is terse. It is to the point. He directs this last day church to one hope. That hope is HIMSELF. He says, "Come to Me and buy." It is evident from this phrase "buy of Me" that the Laodicean church is not at all dealing with Jesus for the Spiritual products of the Kingdom of God. Their transactions cannot be Spiritual. They may think that they are Spiritual, but how can they be? The works in their midst are definitely not as Paul would say, "God in you willing and doing of His own good pleasure." Philippians 2:13. Thus what about all these churches, schools, hospitals, missionary ventures, etc.? God is not in them as long as they are denominational seed and spirit, and not the Seed and Spirit of God.
"Buy of Me, gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich." Now these people had plenty of gold, but it was the wrong kind. It was that gold that bought men's lives and destroyed them. It was the gold that warped and twisted human character, for its love was the root of all evil. Revelation 18:1-14, "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine: and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God Who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city, for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all." This is exactly the organized churches of the last day, for it says in verse 4, "Come out of her MY PEOPLE". The rapture has not yet taken place. The bride is not yet gone when these terrible conditions in this rich, false church exist.
But, there is a gold of God. I Peter 1:7. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth." The gold of God is a Christ-like character produced in the fiery furnace of affliction. That is the right kind of gold.
But what kind of gold does the church have today? It has but the worldly gold that will perish. It is rich. It is complacent. It has made affluence the major criterion of spirituality. The evidence of God's blessing and the correctness of doctrine, etc. is now based upon how many rich folks are involved in it.
"You had better come before it is too late," saith the Lord, "and buy of Me gold tried in the fire and then you will be truly rich." Are we getting it? Listen to me, "Naked (physically) we came into the world, but naked (spiritually) we will NOT leave it." Oh no, we are going to take something with us. What that something is, is ALL we can take with us, nothing less and nothing more. So we had better be real careful now to see that we take something that will make us right before God. So, then, what will we take with us? We will take our CHARACTER, brother, that is what we will take with us. Now what kind of character will you take with you? Will it be like HIS Whose character was molded by suffering in the fiery furnace of affliction, or will it be the softness of this character-less Laodicean people? It is up to each one of us, for in that day every man will bear his own burden.
Now, I said that the city of Laodicea was a wealthy city. It minted gold coins with inscriptions on both sides. Gold coins characterized the age - a flourishing commerce existed because of it. Today, the two-headed gold coin is with us. We buy ourselves out and we buy ourselves in. In the church, we attempt to accomplish the same. We buy ourselves out of sin and buy ourselves into heaven - or so we say. But God does not say that.
The church owns such phenomenal wealth, that at any given time she can take over the entire world system of commerce, and indeed a leader in the World Council of Churches has openly prophesied that the church in the foreseeable future should, could, and will do just that. But their golden tower of Babel shall fall. Only the gold tried in the fire shall endure.
And that is what the church has constantly done through the ages. She has left the Word of God and taken her own creeds and dogmas; she has organized and joined herself to the world. Thus is she naked, and God is judging her lewdness. The only way she can get out of this dread situation is by obeying the Lord to come back to His Word. Revelation 18:4, "Come out of her My people." II Corinthians 6:14-18. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with un-righteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." There is a price to pay for those garments, and that is the price of separation.
"And anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mightest see." He does not say that you have to buy this eyesalve. Oh no. There is no price tag on the Holy Spirit. "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?" Galatians 3:2. Without the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, you can never have your eyes opened to a true Spiritual revelation of the Word. A man without the Spirit is blind to God and His truth.
When I think of this eyesalve opening people's eyes, I can't help but recall when I was a little boy in Kentucky. My brother and I slept in the attic on a straw pallet. The cracks in the house would let the drafts blow through. Sometimes in the winter it would get so cold we would wake up in the morning with such colds in our eyes that our eyes would be shut tight with inflammation. We would cry out to mother, and up she would come with some hot coon grease and rub our eyes until the hardened matter was gone, and then we could see. You know there have been some awful cold drafts blowing on the church in this generation, and I'm afraid her eyes have sort of frozen shut and she is blind to what God has for her. She needs some hot oil of the Spirit of God to open her eyes. Unless she receives the Spirit of God she will go on substituting program for power and creed for Word. She counts numbers for success, rather than to look for fruit. The doctors of theology have shut the door to faith and forbade all to enter. They neither go in, nor let anyone else go in. Their theology comes out of a text book on psychology written by some unbeliever. There is a text book on psychology, one we all need; it is the Bible. It is written by God and contains God's psychology. You don't need any doctor to explain it to you. Receive ye the Holy Spirit and let Him do the explaining. He wrote the Book and He can tell you what is in it and what it means. I Corinthians 2:9-16 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
Now if all the things that the Spirit is crying out against are true of this age, we need someone to come on the scene as did John the Baptist and challenge the church as never before. And that is exactly what is coming to our age. Another John the Baptist is coming and he will cry out exactly as did the first forerunner. We know that he will because of what the next verse says.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent." Revelation 3:19. This is the same message that John had as he cried out in that religious wilderness of Pharisees, Sadducees, and heathen, "REPENT!" There was no other course then; there is no other course now. There was no other way to get back to God then, and there is no other way now. It is REPENT. Change your mind. Turn around. REPENT, for why will ye die?
Let us examine the first phrase, "as many as I love". In the Greek the emphasis is upon the personal pronoun "I". He does not say as many would feel He should say, "as many as love ME". No sir. We must never try to make Jesus the OBJECT of human love in this verse. No! It is the MANY that are the LOVED ONES of God. It is HIS love, in question, NOT ours. So once again we find ourselves glorying in His salvation, His purpose and His plan, and we are confirmed even more strongly in the truth of the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. Even as He said in Romans 9:13. "Jacob have I loved." Does it now obtain that since He loved ONLY the MANY, is He therefore in a state of complacency, awaiting the love of those who have not drawn nigh Him? By no means is this so, for He declared also in Romans 9:13, "Esau have I hated." And in verse 11 the Spirit boldly calls out, "For the children not being born, neither having done any good or evil, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND, not of works, but of Him that calleth." This love is "Elective Love". It is His love for His elect. And His love for them is apart from HUMAN MERIT for it says that the purpose of God stands in election which is exactly opposite to works or anything man has in himself. Because "BEFORE THE CHILDREN WERE BORN" He had ALREADY said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
And now He says to His own, "As many as I love, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN." To rebuke is to reprove. To reprove is to 'expose with a view to correction.' Chasten does not mean to punish. It means to "discipline because the subject's amendment is in mind." This is exactly what we find in Hebrews 12:5-11, "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
Herein is now set forth the love of God. He desired in love a family of His own, a family of sons - sons like Himself. There before Him lies all mankind as ONE lump of clay. Out of that same lump He will now make vessels unto honor and unto dishonor. The CHOOSING will be His own choosing. Then those chosen ones, born of His Spirit will be trained to conform to His image in their walk. He REPROVES with all long-suffering and gentleness and mercy. He CHASTENS with nail scarred hands. Sometimes this Potter must take the vessel He is working on and thoroughly break it down in order that He may rebuild it exactly as He desires it. BUT IT IS LOVE. THAT IS HIS LOVE. ANOTHER WAY OF HIS LOVE THERE IS NOT. THERE CANNOT BE.
Oh, little flock, do not fear. This age is fast closing. As it does those tares will be bound together, and as a three-fold cord is not easily broken, they will have a tremendous three-fold strength of political, physical, and spiritual (Satanical) power, and they will seek to destroy the bride of Christ. She will suffer, but she will endure. Fear not those things that are coming upon the earth, for He " Who loved His own, loveth them unto the end." John 13:1.
"Be zealous and repent." Now this false church has zeal; make no mistake about that. Her zeal has literally been that of the Jews, John 2:17, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten Me up." But it is a wrong zeal. It is for the house of their own building. It is for their own creeds, dogmas, organizations, their own righteousness. They have put the Word out for their own ideas. They deposed the Holy Ghost and made men into leaders. They have put aside Eternal Life as a Person, and make it good works, or even church conformity rather than good works.
But God is calling for another zeal. It is the zeal to cry "I AM WRONG ". Now who is going to say that he is wrong? What is it that all these denominations are based upon? - the claim to originality, and that of God, - the claim that they are right. Now they ALL cannot be right. In fact NOT ONE of them is right. They are whited sepulchres, full of dead men's bones. They have no life. They have no vindication. God has never made Himself known in any organization. They say they are right because they are the ones that are saying it, but saying it does not make it so. They need the vindicated "Thus saith the Lord" of God, and they don't have it.
Now let me say this here. I don't believe that God is calling only to the false church to repent. In this verse He is talking to His elect. They have some repenting to do, too. Many of His children are still in those false churches. They are those of whom it speaks in Ephesians 5:14, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." To be asleep is not to be dead. These are sleeping amongst the dead. They are out there in the dead denominations. They are floating along with them. God cries out, "WAKE UP! Repent of your folly." Here they are lending their influence, giving their time and their money, actually their very lives to these antichrist organizations, and all the while thinking it is all right. They need to repent. They must repent. They need to have a change of mind and turn toward truth.
Yes, this is the age that most needs to repent. But will it? Will it bring back the Word? Will it again enthrone the Holy Spirit in men's lives? Will it again revere Jesus as the ONLY Saviour? I say not, for the next verse reveals the astounding and shocking truth of the close of this age. 7ch050.htm
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