CAB 9 THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE

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GZB 9 - Das Gemeinde-Zeitalter zu Laodizea

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Revelation 3:14-22

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write:

These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God;

I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot I will spue thee out of My mouth.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

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THE CITY OF LAODICEA

The name, Laodicea, which means, "people's rights" was very common and was given to several cities in honor of royal ladies so named. This city was one of the most politically important and financially flourishing cities in Asia Minor. Enormous amounts of property were bequeathed to the city by prominent citizens. It was the seat of a great medical school. Its people were distinguished in the arts and sciences. It was often called the 'metropolis' as it was the county seat for twenty-five other cities. The pagan god worshipped there was Zeus. In fact this city was once called Diopolis (City of Zeus) in honor of their god. In the fourth century an important church council was held there. Frequent earthquakes finally caused its complete abandonment.

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How fitting were the characteristics of this last age to represent the age in which we now live. For example, they worshipped one god, Zeus, who was the chief and father of the gods. This forecast the twentieth century 'one God, father-of-us-all' religious premise that sets forth the brotherhood of man, and is even now bringing together the Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, etc. with the intent that a mutual form of worship will increase our love, understanding, and care of each other. The Catholics and Protestants are even now striving for, and actually gaining ground in this union with the avowed intent that all others will follow. This very attitude was seen in the United Nations Organization when the world leaders refused to recognize any one individual concept of spiritual worship but recommended putting aside all those separate concepts with the hopes that all religions become leveled into one, for all desire the same goals, all have the same purposes and all are basically right.

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Notice the name, Laodicea, 'the people's rights', or 'justice of the peoples.' Was there ever an age like the twentieth century church age that has seen ALL nations rising up and demanding equality, socially and financially? This is the age of the communists where all men are supposedly equal, though it is only so in theory. This is the age of political parties who call themselves Christian Democrats, and Christian Socialists, Christian Commonwealth Federation, etc. According to our liberal theologians Jesus was a socialist and the early church under the guidance of the Spirit practiced socialism, and thus we ought to do so today.

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When the ancients called Laodicea the metropolis it was looking forward to the one-world government that we are now setting up. As we think of that city being the location of a great church council we see foreshadowed the ecumenical move taking place today, wherein very soon we will see all the 'so-called' Christians come together. Indeed, the church and state, religion and politics are coming together. The tares are being bound. The wheat will soon be ready for the garner.

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It was a city of earthquakes, such earthquakes as finally destroyed it. This age will end in God shaking the whole world that has gone off to make love with the old harlot. Not only will world systems crumble, but the very earth will be shaken and then renovated for the millennial reign of Christ.

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The city was rich, endowed by the wealthy. It was full of culture. Science abounded. How like today. The churches are rich. The worship is beautiful and formal, but cold and dead. Culture and education have taken the place of the Spirit-given Word, and faith has been superseded by science, so that man is a victim of materialism.

In every attribute ancient Laodicea is found reborn in the twentieth-century Laodicean Age. In the mercy of God, may those who have an ear to hear come out of her that they be not partakers of her sins and the consequent judgment.

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THE LAODICEAN AGE

The Laodicean Age began around the turn of the Twentieth Century, perhaps 1906. How long will it last? As a servant of God who has had multitudes of visions, of which NONE has ever failed, let me predict (I did not say prophesy, but predict) that this age will end around 1977. If you will pardon a personal note here, I base this prediction on seven major continuous visions that came to me one Sunday morning in June, 1933. The Lord Jesus spoke to me and said that the coming of the Lord was drawing nigh, but that before He came, seven major events would transpire. I wrote them all down and that morning I gave forth the revelation of the Lord. The first vision was that Mussolini would invade Ethiopia and that nation would "fall at his steps". That vision surely did cause some repercussions, and some were very angry when I said it and would not believe it. But it happened that way. He just walked in there with his modern arms and took over. The natives didn't have a chance. But the vision also said that Mussolini would come to a horrible end with his own people turning on him. That came to pass just exactly as it was said.

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The next vision foretold that an Austrian by the name of Adolph Hitler would rise up as dictator over Germany, and that he would draw the world into war. It showed the Siegfried line and how our troops would have a terrible time to overcome it. Then it showed that Hitler would come to a mysterious end.

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The third vision was in the realm of world politics for it showed me that there would be three great ISMS, Facism, Nazism, Communism, but that the first two would be swallowed up into the third. The voice admonished, "WATCH RUSSIA, WATCH RUSSIA. Keep your eye on the King of the North."

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The fourth vision showed the great advances in science that would come after the second world war. It was headed up in the vision of a plastic bubble-topped car that was running down beautiful highways under remote control so that people appeared seated in this car without a steering wheel and they were playing some sort of a game to amuse themselves.

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The fifth vision had to do with the moral problem of our age, centering mostly around women. God showed me that women began to be out of their place with the granting of the vote. Then they cut off their hair, which signified that they were no longer under the authority of a man but insisted on either equal rights, or in most cases, more than equal rights. She adopted men's clothing and went into a state of undress, until the last picture I saw was a woman naked except for a little fig leaf type apron. With this vision I saw the terrible perversion and moral plight of the whole world.

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Then in the sixth vision there arose up in America a most beautiful, but cruel woman. She held the people in her complete power. I believed that this was the rise of the Roman Catholic Church, though I knew it could possibly be a vision of some woman rising in great power in America due to a popular vote by women.

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The last and seventh vision was wherein I heard a most terrible explosion. As I turned to look I saw nothing but debris, craters, and smoke all over the land of America.

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Based on these seven visions, along with the rapid changes which have swept the world in the last fifty years, I PREDICT (I do not prophesy) that these visions will have all come to pass by 1977. And though many may feel that this is an irresponsible statement in view of the fact that Jesus said that 'no man knoweth the day nor the hour.' I still maintain this prediction after thirty years because, Jesus did NOT say no man could know the year, month or week in which His coming was to be completed. So I repeat, I sincerely believe and maintain as a private student of the Word, along with Divine inspiration that 1977 ought to terminate the world systems and usher in the millennium.

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Now let me say this. Can anyone prove any of those visions wrong? Were they not all fulfilled? Yes, each one has been fulfilled, or is in the process right now. Mussolini invaded Ethiopia successfully, then fell and lost it all. Hitler started a war he could not finish and died mysteriously. Communism took over both the other two ISMS. The plastic bubble car has been built and is awaiting only a better network of roads. Women are all but naked, and are even now wearing topless bathing suits. And just the other day I saw in a magazine the very dress that I saw in my vision (if you can call it a dress). It was a plastic transparent type of cloth with three darkened spots that covered both breasts in a small area, and then there was a dark place like a small apron below. The Catholic Church is on the rise. We have had one Catholic president and will no doubt have another. What is left? Nothing except Hebrews 12:26. "Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." Once more God will shake the earth and with it shake everything loose that can be shaken. Then He will renovate it. Just last March, 1964, that Good Friday earthquake of Alaska shook the whole world though it did not unbalance it. But God was warning by a world tremor what He will soon do on a greater scale. He is going to blast and rock this sin-cursed world, my brother, my sister, and there is only one place that can stand that shock, and that is in the fold of the Lord Jesus. And I would beseech you while God's mercy is still available to you, that you give your whole life, unreservedly to Jesus Christ, Who as the faithful Shepherd will save you and care for you and present you faultless in glory with exceeding great joy.

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THE MESSENGER

I doubt very much if any age truly knew the messenger that God had sent unto it, except in the first age where Paul was the messenger. And even in that age many did not recognize him for what he was.

Now the age in which we are living is going to be a very short one. Events are going to transpire very rapidly. So the messenger to this Laodicean Age has to be here now, though perhaps we don't know him as yet. But there will surely have to be a time that he becomes known. Now I can prove that because we have Scripture that describes his ministry.

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First of all, that messenger is going to be a prophet. He will have the office of a prophet. He will have the prophetic ministry. It will be based solidly on the Word because when he prophesies or has a vision, it will always be "Word oriented" and it will ALWAYS come to pass. He will be vindicated as a prophet because of his accuracy. The proof that he is a prophet is found in Revelation 10:7 "But in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as He hath declared to His servants, the prophets." Now this person, who in this verse is called an 'angel' in the King James version is NOT an heavenly being. The sixth trumpeting angel, who is an heavenly being, is in Revelation 9:13, and the seventh of like order is in Revelation 11:15. This one here in Revelation 10:7 is the seventh age messenger and it is a man, and he is to bring a message from God, and his message and ministry is going to finish the mystery of God as declared to His servants, the prophets. God is going to treat this last messenger as a prophet BECAUSE HE IS A PROPHET. That is what Paul was in the first age, and the last age has one, too. Amos 3:6-7, "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants, the prophets."

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It was in the end-time period that the seven thunders of Jesus came forth. Revelation 10:3-4, "And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not." What was in those thunders no one knows. But we need to know. And it will take a prophet to get the revelation because God has no other way of bringing out His Scriptural revelations except by a prophet. The Word always came by a prophet and always will. That this is the law of God is evident by even a casual search of Scripture. The unchanging God with unchanging ways invariably sent His prophet in every age where the people had strayed from Divine order. With both the theologians and the people having departed from the Word, God always sent His servant to these people (but apart from the theologians) in order to correct false teaching and lead the people back to God.

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So we see a seventh age messenger coming, and he is a prophet.

Not only do we see this messenger coming here in Revelation 10:7, but we find that the Word speaks of Elijah coming before Jesus returns. In Matthew 17:10, "And His disciples asked Him saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?" And Jesus said, "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." Before the coming of our Lord, Elijah must come back for a work of restoration in the church. This is what Malachi 4:5 says, "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." There is absolutely no doubt that Elijah must return before the coming of Jesus. He has a specific work to accomplish. That work is the part of Malachi 4:6 that says "he will turn the hearts of the children to their fathers". The reason that we know this is his specific work to do at that time is because he has already accomplished the part that says "he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children," when the Elijah ministry was here in John the Baptist. Luke 1:17, "And he shall go before Him in the Spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the Just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." In the ministry of John the "hearts of the fathers were turned to the children". We know that because Jesus said so. But it does not say that the hearts of the children were turned to the fathers. That is yet to take place. The hearts of the last day children will be turned back to the Pentecostal fathers. John got the fathers ready for Jesus to welcome the children into the fold. Now this prophet upon whom the Spirit of Elijah falls will prepare the children to welcome back Jesus.

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Jesus called John the Baptist, Elijah. Matthew 17:12, "But I say unto you that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him what they listed." The reason that he called John Elijah, was because the same Spirit that was upon Elijah had come back upon John, even as that Spirit had come back upon Elisha after the reign of King Ahab. Now once again that Spirit will come back upon another man just before Jesus comes. He will be a prophet. He will be vindicated as such by God. Since Jesus, Himself, in the flesh won't be here to vindicate him, (as He did John) it will be done by the Holy Spirit so that this prophet's ministry will be attended by great and wonderful manifestation. As a prophet, every revelation will be vindicated, for every revelation will come to pass. Wonderful acts of power will be performed at his commands in faith. Then will be brought forth the message that God has given him in the Word to turn the people back to truth and the true power of God. Some will listen, but the majority will run true to form and reject him.

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Since this prophet messenger of Revelation 10:7 will be the same as Malachi 4:5-6 he will be naturally like Elijah and John. Both were men set apart from the accepted religious schools of their day. Both were men of the wilderness. Both acted only when they had “Thus saith the Lord,” straight from God by revelation. Both lashed out against the religious orders and leaders of their day. But not only was that so, they lashed out against all who were corrupt or would corrupt others. And notice, both prophesied much against immoral women and their ways. Elijah cried out against Jezebel, and John rebuked Herodias, Philip’s wife.

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Though he will not be popular, he will be vindicated by God. As Jesus authenticated John, and the Holy Ghost authenticated Jesus, we can well expect this man will be first of all authenticated by the Spirit working in his life in acts of power that are indisputable and found nowhere else; and Jesus Himself, in returning, will authenticate him, even as He authenticated John. John witnessed that Jesus was coming,--and so will this man, like John, witness that Jesus is coming. And the very return of Christ will prove that this man indeed was the forerunner of His second coming. This is the final evidence that this indeed is the prophet of Malachi 4, for the end of the Gentile period will be Jesus, Himself, appearing. Then it will be too late for those who have rejected him.

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In order to further clarify our presentation of this last day prophet, let us particularly note that the prophet of Matthew 11:12, was John the Baptist, who was the one foretold in Malachi 3:1, "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, Whom ye delight in; behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts." Matthew 11:1-12, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding His twelve disciples, He departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto Him, Art thou He That should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written. Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." This has already taken place. This has happened. It is over. But note now in Malachi 4:1-6, "For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." See, immediately after the coming of THIS Elijah, the earth will be cleansed by fire and the wicked burned to ashes. Of course, this did NOT happen at the time of John (the Elijah for his day.) The Spirit of God that prophesied the coming of the messenger in Malachi 3:1 (John) was but reiterating His previous prophetic statement of Isaiah 40:3 made at least three centuries previously. "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Now John, by the Holy Ghost, voiced both Isaiah and Malachi in Matthew 3:3, "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." So we can well see from these Scriptures that the prophet in Malachi 3, who was John, was NOT the prophet of Malachi 4, though indeed, both John and this last-day prophet have upon them the same Spirit Which was upon Elijah.

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Now this messenger of Malachi 4 and Revelation 10:7 is going to do two things. One: According to Malachi 4 he will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers. Two: He will reveal the mysteries of the seven thunders in Revelation 10 which are the revelations contained in the seven seals. It will be these Divinely revealed 'mystery-truths' that literally turn the hearts of the children to the Pentecostal fathers. Exactly so.

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But consider this also. This prophet-messenger will be in his nature and manners as were Elijah and John. The people of this prophet-messenger's day will be as they were in Ahab's day, and in John's. And since it is "ONLY THE CHILDREN" whose hearts will be turned, it is only the children who will listen. In the days of Ahab only 7,000 true seed Israelites were found. In the days of John there were also very few. The masses in both ages were in the fornication of idolatry.

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I want to make one more comparison between the Laodicean prophet-messenger and John, the prophet-messenger who preceded Jesus' first coming. The people in John's day mistook him for the Messiah. John 1:19-20, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ." Now this last day prophet-messenger will have such power before the Lord that there will be those who mistake him for the Lord Jesus. (There will be a spirit in the world at the end time that will seduce some and make them believe this. Matthew 24:23-26, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.") But don't you believe it. He is not Jesus Christ. He is not the Son of God. HE IS ONE OF THE BRETHREN, A PROPHET, A MESSENGER, A SERVANT OF GOD. He needs no greater honor bestowed upon him than that which John received when he was the voice that cried, "I am not He, BUT HE IS COMING AFTER ME."

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Before we close this section on the messenger of the Laodicean Age, we must seriously consider these two thoughts. First, this age will have ONE Prophet-Messenger. Revelation 10:7, says, "When he (singular) shall begin to sound." There has never been an age where God gave His people two major prophets at one time. He gave Enoch (alone); He gave Noah (alone); He gave Moses (he alone had the Word though others prophesied); John the Baptist came ALONE. Now in this last day there is to be a PROPHET (not a prophetess--though in this age there are more women purporting to give God's revelation than men), and the infallible Word says that he (the prophet) will reveal the mysteries to the end time people, and turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers. There are those who say that God's people are going to come together through a collective revelation. I challenge that statement. It is a bald, invalid assumption in the face of Revelation 10:7. Now I do not deny that people will prophesy in this last age and their ministries can and will be correct. I do not deny that there will be prophets even as in the days of Paul when there was "one Agabus a prophet who prophesied of a famine". I agree that is so. BUT I DENY UPON THE INFALLIBLE EVIDENCE OF THE WORD THAT THERE IS MORE THAN ONE MAJOR PROPHET-MESSENGER WHO WILL REVEAL THE MYSTERIES AS CONTAINED IN THE WORD, AND WHO HAS THE MINISTRY TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN TO THE FATHERS. "Thus saith the Lord" by His unfailing Word stands, and shall stand and be vindicated. There is one prophet-messenger to this age. On the basis of human behavior alone, anyone knows that where there are many people there is even divided opinion on lesser points of a major doctrine which they all hold together. Who then will have the power of infallibility which is to be restored in this last age, for this last age is going to go back to manifesting the Pure Word Bride? That means we will have the Word once again as it was perfectly given, and perfectly understood in the days of Paul. I will tell you who will have it. It will be a prophet as thoroughly vindicated, or even more thoroughly vindicated than was any prophet in all the ages from Enoch to this day, because this man will of necessity have the capstone prophetic ministry, and God will shew him forth. He won't need to speak for himself, God will speak for him by the voice of the sign. Amen.

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The second thought that must be impressed on our hearts is that the seven church ages started out with the antichrist spirit as well as the Holy Spirit Who is to be blessed forever. I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." Did you notice it? The antichrist spirit is identified with false prophets. The ages came in with false prophets and they will go out with false prophets. Now of course there is going to be a REAL FALSE PROPHET in the grand sense of that man mentioned in the Revelation. But as of now before his revelation there are to appear many false prophets. Matthew 24:23-26, "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not." These false prophets are earmarked for us in various other Scriptures such as the following. II Peter 2:1-2, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord That bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." II Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." I Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Now in every case you will notice that a false prophet is one who is outside the Word. Just as we showed you that 'antichrist' means 'anti-Word' so these false prophets come perverting the Word, giving it a meaning that fits their own devilish ends. Have you ever noticed how the people who lead others astray bind them closely to themselves by fear? They say that if the people don't do what they say, or if they leave, then destruction will follow. They are false prophets, for a true prophet will always lead one to the Word and bind the people to Jesus Christ and he won't tell the people to fear him or what he says, but to fear what the Word says. Notice how these people like Judas are out for money. They get you to sell all you have and give it to them and their schemes. They spend more time on offerings than the Word. Those who attempt to operate gifts will make use of a gift which has a margin of error in it and then ask for money, and neglect the Word and call it of God. And people will go to them, and bear with them, and support them, and believe them, not knowing it is the way of death. Yes, the land is full of carnal impersonators. In that last day they will try to imitate that prophet-messenger. The seven sons of Sceva tried to imitate Paul. Simon the sorcerer tried to imitate Peter. Their impersonations will be carnal. They won't be able to produce what the true prophet produces. When he says the revival is over they will go around claiming a great revelation that what the people have is exactly right and God is going to do bigger and more wonderful things amongst the people. And the people will fall for it. These same false prophets will claim that the messenger of the last day is not a theologian, so he ought not to be heard. They won't be able to produce what the messenger can; they won't be vindicated by God as that last day prophet is, but with their great swelling words and with the weight of their world-wide notoriety they will warn the people not to hear that man (messenger) and they will say he teaches wrong. They are running exactly true to their fathers, the Pharisees, who were of the devil, for they claimed that both John and Jesus taught error.

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Now why do these false prophets come against the true prophet and discredit his teaching? Because they are running true to form as did their forefathers when in the days of Ahab they withstood Micaiah. There were four hundred of them and all of them were in agreement; and by them all saying the same thing, they fooled the people. But ONE prophet--just one--was right and all the rest wrong because God had committed the revelation to ONLY ONE.

Beware of false prophets, for they are ravening wolves.

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If you are still in any doubt about this ask God by His Spirit to fill you and lead you, FOR THE VERY ELECT CAN'T BE FOOLED. Did you get that? There isn't any man can fool you. Paul could not fool any elect, had he been wrong. And in that first Ephesian Age the elect there could not be fooled for they tried the false apostles and prophets and found them to be liars and put them out. Hallelujah. HIS sheep hear His voice and they follow HIM. Amen. I believe it.

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THE SALUTATION

Revelation 3:14, "These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God."

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My, isn't that the most wonderful description of the attributes of our lovely Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? These words just make me want to shout. They bring such a spirit of reality into my heart. Just reading them without even waiting for a thorough revelation of the Spirit upon them thrills me.

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Jesus is giving us this description of Himself in relation to the last age. The days of grace are winding up. He has looked from the first century right through to the twentieth, and told us all things concerning these ages. Before He reveals the characteristics of the last age to us, He gives us one final look at His own gracious and supreme Deity. This is the capstone revelation of Himself.

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Thus saith the "AMEN". Jesus is the Amen of God. Jesus is the "So Let It Be" of God. Amen stands for finality. It stands for approval. It stands for prevailing promise. It stands for unchanging promise. It stands for the seal of God.

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I want you to watch this carefully now and see something really sweet and beautiful. I said this is His end-time revelation of Himself. When the day of grace closes, then the millennium comes very shortly thereafter, doesn't it? Well, read with me Isaiah 65:16-19. "That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from Mine eyes. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." This is about New Jerusalem. This is the millennium. But as we go into the millennium, hear what He says about being a certain kind of God, Verse 16, "That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth." Yes, that is true, but the real translation is not "God of truth". It is "God of the AMEN". So we read it, "shall bless himself in the God of the AMEN, and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of the AMEN; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from My eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create, for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her; nor the voice of crying," Hallelujah. Here is Jehovah of the Old Testament, "the God of the Amen". Here is Jesus of the New Testament, "the God of the Amen". Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord thy God is ONE God. There it is again, the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New. "Hear, Oh, Israel the Lord thy God is ONE God." The New Testament does not reveal ANOTHER God, it is a further revelation of the ONE AND SAME GOD. Christ did not come down to make Himself known. He did not come to reveal the Son. He came to reveal and make known the Father. He never talked about two Gods; He talked about ONE God. And now in this last age, we have come back to the capstone revelation, the most important revelation of Godhead in the whole Bible, that is, JESUS IS GOD, HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE: THERE IS ONE GOD, AND HIS NAME IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

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He is the God of the Amen. He never changes. What He does never changes. He says it, and it stands fast. He does it, and it is done forever. None can take from what He says or add to it. So let it be. Amen. So let it be. Aren't you glad that you serve that kind of a God? You can know exactly where you are with Him at any time and all the time. He is the AMEN God and won't change.

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"These things saith the AMEN." I like that. It means that whatever He said is final. It means that whatever He said to the first age and to the second and to all ages about His own true church and about the false vine is exactly right and it won't change. It means that what He started out with in Genesis, He will finish in Revelation. He has to for He is the Amen, SO LET IT BE. Now we can see again why the devil hates the Books of Genesis and Revelation. He hates the truth. He knows the truth will prevail. He knows what his end will be. How he fights that. But we are on the winning side. We (I mean the believers of His Word, only) are on the Amen side.

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These things saith the Faithful and True Witness. Now I want to show you what I find in the thought of "faithful". You know we often talk about a great unchanging God, Whose Word does not change. And when we speak of Him after that manner we often get a view of Him that makes Him seem very impersonal. It is as though God made the whole universe and all the laws that pertain to it and then stood back and became a great impersonal God. It is as though God made a way of salvation for lost mankind, that way being the cross, and then when the death of Christ has atoned for our sins, and His resurrection gave us an open door to Him, God just folded His arms and stood back. It is as if we majored in believing in a great Creator, Who having created, lost personal interest in His creation. Now I say that is how too many people are apt to think. But that is wrong thinking, for God is GOVERNING IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN RIGHT NOW. HE IS BOTH CREATOR AND SUSTAINER. Colossians 1:16-17. "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." He is a Sovereign God. By His own counsel He purposed the plan of the salvation of His own elect which He foreknew. The Son died upon the cross to establish the means of Salvation and the Holy Spirit carefully executes the will of the Father. He is working all things at this moment according to the purpose of His own will. He is right in the midst of it all. He is in the midst of His church. This great Creator, Saviour-God is faithfully working amongst His own right now as the great Shepherd of the sheep. His very existence is for His own. He loves them and cares for them. His eye is ever upon them. When the Word says that "your lives are hid with Christ in God" it means exactly what it says. Oh, I am so glad that my God abides faithful. He is true to Himself, He won't lie. He is true to the Word, He will back it up. He is true to us, He will lose none of us, but raise us up in the last day. I am glad that I am resting in His faithfulness. Philippians 1:6. "Being confident of this very thing, that He Which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ."

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"He is the True Witness." Now this word, true, is the same word we saw back there in Revelation 3:7. You recall that it does not mean 'true' as in contrast with 'false.' It has a richer, deeper meaning by far. It expresses perfect realization in contrast to partial realization. Now back in the Philadelphian Age, the coming of the Lord was drawing nigh. What great love that age manifested for Him. It reminds me of those beautiful words of I Peter 1:8, "Whom having not seen ye love, in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." With them we rejoice also. We haven't seen Him, but we have felt Him. We know Him now as much as our limiting senses can let us. But one day it will be face to face. That is for this age. He is coming at the end of this age. Partial realization will be made PERFECT REALIZATION, COMPLETED REALIZATION. Hallelujah! We have been looking through a glass darkly, but soon it will be face to face. We have been going from glory to glory, but soon it will be right in the glory; and in HIS GLORY WE'LL SHINE. WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, WONDROUSLY LIKE HIM, JESUS OUR SAVIOUR DIVINE! Isn't that wonderful? We are complete in Him. That is true. He would not lie to us about that. But one day we will be changed in the atoms. We will put on immortality. We will be all swallowed up in life. Then we will REALIZE REALIZATION.

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"He is the Faithful and True Witness." Now we think of that word, 'witness.' Well, that word is the one we get the word 'martyr' from. The Bible speaks of Stephen and Antipas and others as martyrs. They were martyrs; they were also witnesses. Jesus was a faithful martyr. The Holy Ghost is the witness to that. The Spirit bears record of that. The world hated Jesus. It killed Him. But God loved Him and He went to the Father. The proof that He went to the Father is that the Holy Ghost came. If Jesus had not been received of the Father, the Spirit would not have come. Read it in John 16:7-11. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me: Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." The presence of the Holy Spirit in this world instead of Jesus being here, proves that Jesus was righteous and went to the Father. But it also says in John 14:18. "I will not leave you COMFORTLESS, I will come to you." He sent the Comforter. He WAS THE COMFORTER. He came back in SPIRIT upon the true church. He is the faithful and true WITNESS in the midst of the church. But one day He is going to come back in flesh again. He will prove then Who is the only wise potentate,--it is He, Jesus Christ the Lord of Glory.

Faithful and True Witness, Creator and Sustainer, Perfect Realization, the Amen of God.

Oh, how I love Him, how I adore Him, Jesus the Son of God.

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I want to close my thoughts on this part of the salutation with these words of II Corinthians 1:18-22. "But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who was preached among you by us, even by me and Sylvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in Him was yea. For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now He Which establisheth us with you in Christ and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."

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"The Beginning Of The Creation Of God." That is Who the Lord Jesus says He is. But those words don't mean exactly as they sound to us. Just taking them the way they sound has made some people (in fact multitudes of people) get the idea that Jesus was the first creation of God, making Him lower than Godhead. Then this first creation created all the rest of the universe and whatsoever it contains. But that is not right. You know that doesn't line up with the rest of the Bible. The words are, "He is the BEGINNER or AUTHOR of the creation of God." Now we know for a surety that Jesus is God, very God. He is the Creator. John 1:3 "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made." He is the One of Whom it is said, Gen. 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". Also it says in Ex. 20:11, "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day." See, there is no doubt that He is the Creator. He was the Creator of a FINISHED PHYSICAL CREATION.

Surely we can see what these words mean now. To have any other interpretation would mean that God created God. How could God be created when He, Himself, is the Creator?

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But now He is standing in the midst of the Church. As He stands there revealing Who He is in this last age, He calls Himself the "Author of the creation of God". This is ANOTHER CREATION. This has to do with the church. This is a special designation of Himself. He is the CREATOR of that church. The heavenly Bridegroom created his own bride. As the Spirit of God, He came down and created in the virgin Mary the cells from which His body was born. I want to repeat that. He created the very cells in the womb of Mary for that body. It was not enough for the Holy Spirit to simply give life to a human ovum supplied by Mary. That would have been sinful mankind producing a body. That would not have produced the "Last Adam". Of Him it was said "Lo a body hast Thou (Father) prepared for Me." God (not Mary) provided that body. Mary was the human incubator and she carried that Holy Child and brought Him to birth. It was a God-man. He was the Son of God. He was of the NEW creation. Man and God met and joined; He was the first of this new race. He is the head of this new race. Colossians 1:18, "And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence." II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things are become new." There you can see that though man was of the OLD ORDER or creation, now in UNION WITH CHRIST, he has become the NEW CREATION of God. Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship CREATED IN UNION WITH CHRIST JESUS unto good works." Ephesians 4:24, "And that ye put on the NEW MAN which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." This New Creation is not the old creation made over, or it could not be called a new creation. This is exactly what it says it is, "NEW CREATION". It is another creation, distinct from the old one. No longer is He dealing by ways of the flesh. That was how He dealt with Israel. He chose Abraham, and of Abraham's issue through the godly Isaac line. But now out of every kindred, tribe and nation He has purposed a new creation. He is the first of that creation. He was God created in the form of man. Now by His Spirit He is creating many Sons unto Himself. God the creator, creating Himself a part of His creation. This is the true revelation of God. This was His purpose. This purpose took form through election. That is why He could look right down to the last age when all would be over and see Himself still in the midst of the church, as author of this New Creation of God. His Sovereign power brought it to pass. By His own decree He elected the members of this New Creation. He predestinated them to the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His will. By His omniscience and omnipotence He brought it to pass. How else could He know that He would be standing in the midst of the church receiving glory from His brethren if He did not make sure? All things He knew, and all things He worked out according to what He knew in order that His purpose and good pleasure be brought to pass. Ephesians 2:11 "In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Hallelujah! Aren't you glad that you belong to Him!

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THE MESSAGE TO THE LAODICEAN AGE

Revelation 3:15-19 "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent."

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As we have read this together I am sure that you have noticed that the Spirit has not said one kind thing about this age. He makes two indictments and pronounces His sentence upon them.

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(1) Revelation 3:15,16 "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth."

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We are going to look at this carefully. It says that this Laodicean church age group is lukewarm. This lukewarmness demands a penalty from God. The penalty is that they will be spued out of His mouth. Here is where we don't want to go astray as a lot of folks do. They very unwisely say that God can spue you out of His mouth and that proves that there is no such thing as any truth to the doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints. I want to correct your thinking right now. This verse is not given to an individual. It is given to the church. He is talking to the church. Furthermore, if you will just keep the Word in mind you will recall that nowhere does it say that we are in the MOUTH of God. We are engraved on His palms. We are carried in His bosom. Way back in the unknown ages before time we were in His mind. We are in His sheepfold, and in His pastures, but never in His mouth. But what is in the mouth of the Lord? The Word is in His mouth. Matthew 4:4 "But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The Word is supposed to be in our mouths, too. Now we know that the church is His body. It is here taking His place. What will be in the mouth of the church? The WORD. I Peter 4:11 "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (Word) of God." II Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Then what is wrong with these people of the last day? THEY HAVE GOTTEN AWAY FROM THE WORD. THEY ARE NO LONGER FERVENT ABOUT IT. THEY ARE LUKEWARM ABOUT IT. I am going to prove that right now.

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The Baptists have their creeds and dogmas based on the Word and you can't shake them. They say the apostolic days of miracles are over and there is no Baptism with the Holy Ghost, subsequent to believing. The Methodists say (based on the Word) there is no water baptism (sprinkling is not baptism) and that sanctification is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. The Church of Christ majors in regenerational baptism and in all too many cases they go down dry sinners and come up wet ones. Yet they claim their doctrine is Word-based. Go right down the line and come to the Pentecostals. Do they have the Word? Give them the Word test and see. They will sell out the Word for a sensation just about every time. If you can produce a manifestation like oil and blood and tongues and other signs, whether in the Word or not, or whether properly interpreted from the Word, the majority will fall for it. But what has happened to the Word? The Word has been put aside, so God says, "I am going against you all. I will spue you out of My mouth. This is the end. For seven out of seven ages, I have seen nothing but men esteeming their own word above Mine. So at the end of this age I am spuing you out of My mouth. It is all over. I am going to speak all right. Yes, I am here in the midst of the Church. The Amen of God, faithful and true will reveal Himself and it will BE BY MY PROPHET." Oh yes, that is so. Revelation 10:7 "And in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." There it is. He is sending a vindicated prophet. He is sending a prophet after almost two thousand years. He is sending someone who is so far from organization, education, and the world of religion that as John the Baptist and Elijah of old, He will hear only from God and he will have "thus saith the Lord" and speak for God. He will be God's mouthpiece and HE, AS IT IS DECLARED IN MALACHI 4:6, WILL TURN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN BACK TO THE FATHERS. He will bring back the elect of the last day and they will hear a vindicated prophet give the exact truth as it was with Paul. He will restore the truth as they had it. And those elect with him in that day will be the ones who truly manifest the Lord and be His Body and be His voice and perform His works. Hallelujah! Do you see it?

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A momentary consideration of church history will prove how accurate this thought is. In the Dark Ages the Word was almost entirely lost to the people. But God sent Luther with the WORD. The Lutherans spoke for God at that time. But they organized, and again the pure Word was lost for organization tends toward dogma and creeds, and not simple Word. They could no longer speak for God. Then God sent Wesley, and he was the voice with the Word in his day. The people who took his revelation from God became the living epistles read and known of all men for their generation. When the Methodists failed, God raised up others and so it has gone on through the years until in this last day there is again another people in the land, who under their messenger will be the final voice to the final age.

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Yes sir. The church is no longer the "mouthpiece" of God. It is its own mouthpiece. So God is turning on her. He will confound her through the prophet and the bride, for the voice of God will be in her. Yes it is, for it says in the last chapter of Revelation verse 17 "The Spirit and the bride say come". Once more the world will hear direct from God as at Pentecost; but of course that Word Bride will be repudiated as in the first age.

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Now He has cried out to this last age, "You have the Word. You have more Bibles than ever, but you are not doing anything about the Word except dividing and hacking it into pieces, taking what you want and leaving out what you don't want. You are not interested in LIVING it, but debating it. I would sooner you were cold or hot. If you were cold and rejected it, I could stand that. If you would get white hot to know its truth and live it, I would praise you for that. But when you simply take My Word and don't honor it, I in return must refuse to honor you. I will spue you out for you nauseate Me."

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Now anybody knows that it is lukewarm water that makes you sick at the stomach. If you need an emetic, lukewarm water is about the best thing to drink. A lukewarm church has made God sick and He has declared He will spue it out. Reminds us how He felt just before the flood, doesn't it?

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Oh, would to God the church were cold or hot. Best of all, she should be fervent (hot). But she is not. Sentence has been passed. She is no longer God's voice to the world. She will maintain that she is, but God says not.

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Oh, God still has a voice for the people of the world, even as He has given a voice to the bride. That voice is in the bride as we have said and we will talk more about that later.

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(2) Revelation 3:17-18, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable and poor, and blind and naked; I counsel thee to buy of Me, gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."

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Now look at the first phrase of this verse, "because thou sayest". See, they were speaking. They were talking as the mouthpiece of God. This proves exactly what I said verses 16-17 meant. But though they say it, that does not make it right. The Catholic Church says she speaks for God, saying she is the assured voice of the Lord. How any people can be so spiritually wicked is more than I know, but they produce according to the seed which is in them, and we know where that seed came from, don't we?

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The Laodicean church is saying, "I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." That was her self-estimate. She looked at herself and that is what she saw. She said, "I am rich," which means that she is wealthy in the things of this world. She is boasting in the face of James 2:5-7, "Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy Name by the which ye are called?" Now I do NOT suggest that a rich person cannot be Spiritual, but we all know that the Word says very few are. It is the poor that predominate in the body of the true church. Now then, if the church becomes full of wealth, we know only one thing; "Ichabod" has been written over her portals! You can't deny that, for that is the Word.

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