December 5 – 11, 1999
MEMORY VERSE: ‘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.’ Revelation 3: 18.
STUDY HELP: Testimonies Volume 4, pages 87 – 90.
‘I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people. I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.’ Early Writings, page 270.
‘The Faithful and True Witness’
- Who is the One who addresses the church of the Laodiceans? Revelation 3: 14.
NOTE: ‘The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world.’ Acts of the Apostles, page 585.
‘The Holy Spirit… comes to the world as Christ’s representative. He is not only the faithful and true witness to the Word of God, but He is the searcher of the thoughts and purposes of the heart. He is the source to which we must look for efficiency in the restoration of the moral image of God in man… His transforming influence was to bring even the thoughts into harmony with the will of God, and establish a living connection between earth and heaven.’ Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, October 8th, 1908.
- What solemn statement does the faithful and true Witness make to the Laodiceans, and all the churches? Revelation 3: 15, first part. (Compare Revelation 2: 2, 9, 13, 19; 3: 1, 8.)
NOTE: ‘“I know thy works”(not thy profession), says the True Witness. God is now sifting His people, testing their purposes and their motives. Many will be but as chaff, no wheat, no value in them.’ Testimonies Volume 4, page 51.
‘It will be found in the day of final settlement that God was acquainted with everyone by name. There is an unseen Witness to every action of the life. “I know thy works,” says He that “walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” It is known what opportunities have been slighted, how untiring have been the efforts of the Good Shepherd to search out those who were wandering in crooked ways, and to bring them back to the path of safety and peace.’ Testimonies Volume 5, page 435.
‘Neither cold nor hot’
- How does the faithful and true Witness describe the spiritual state of the Laodicean church? Revelation 3: 15.
NOTE: ‘Satan is willing that you should be Christians in name, for you can suit his purpose better. If you have a form and not true Godliness, he can use you to decoy others into the same self-deceived way. Some poor souls will look to you, instead of looking to the Bible standard, and will come up no higher. They are as good as you, and are satisfied.’ Testimonies Volume 1, page 162.
‘Were you cold, there would be some hope that you would be converted; but where self-righteousness girds one about, instead of the righteousness of Christ, the deception is so difficult to be seen, and the self-righteousness so hard to be put away, that the case is the most difficult to reach. An unconverted, godless sinner stands in a more favourable condition than such.’ Testimonies Volume 2, page 175.
- How does the faithful and true Witness describe His reaction to those who are spiritually lukewarm? Revelation 3: 16.
NOTE: ‘The True Witness hates this lukewarmness. He loathes the indifference of this class of persons. Said He: “I would thou wert cold or hot.” Like lukewarm water, they are nauseous to His taste. They are neither unconcerned nor selfishly stubborn. They do not engage thoroughly and heartily in the work of God, identifying themselves with its interests; but they hold aloof and are ready to leave their posts when their worldly personal interests demand it. The internal work of grace is wanting in their hearts.’ Testimonies Volume 4, page 87.
‘This record is made for the special benefit of those who are living in these last days. Many who have had great light have not appreciated and improved it, as it was their privilege to do. They have not practised the truth. And because of this the Lord will bring in those who have lived up to all the light they have had. Those who have been privileged with opportunities to understand the truth, and who have not obeyed its principles, will be swayed by Satan’s temptations for self-advancement. They will deny the principles of truth in practice and bring reproach upon the cause of God. Christ declares that He will spew these out of His mouth, and leave them to follow their own course of action to distinguish themselves. This course of action does indeed make them prominent as men that are unfaithful householders. The Lord will give His message to those who have walked in accordance with the light they have had, and will recognise them as true and faithful, according to the measurement of God. These men will take the place of those who, having light and knowledge, have walked not in the way of the Lord, but in the imagination of their own unsanctified hearts.’ Spalding-Magan Collection of Unpublished Testimonies, page 207.
‘And knowest not…’
- How does the Laodicean church regard itself? Revelation 3: 17, first part.
NOTE: ‘What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true condition of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony, so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake, for it is the True Witness who speaks, and His testimony must be correct. It is difficult for those who feel secure in their attainments, and who believe themselves to be rich in spiritual knowledge, to receive the message which declares that they are deceived and in need of every spiritual grace. The unsanctified heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” I was shown that many are flattering themselves that they are good Christians, who have not a ray of light from Jesus. They have not a living experience for themselves in the divine life.’ Testimonies Volume 3, page 252.
‘Especially should our ministers beware of indolence and pride, which are apt to grow out of a consciousness that we have the truth and strong arguments which our opponents cannot meet; and while the truths which we handle are mighty to the pulling down of the strongholds of the powers of darkness, there is danger of neglecting personal piety, purity of heart, and entire consecration to God. There is danger of their feeling that they are rich and increased with goods, while they lack the essential qualifications of Christians.’ Testimonies Volume 3, page 210.
- How does the faithful and true Witness view the Laodicean church? Revelation 3: 17, last part.
NOTE: ‘I have been shown that unbelief in the testimonies of warning, encouragement, and reproof is shutting away the light from God’s people. Unbelief is closing their eyes so that they are ignorant of their true condition. The True Witness thus describes their blindness: “And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Faith in the soon coming of Christ is waning. “My Lord delayeth His coming” is not only said in the heart, but expressed in words and most decidedly in works. Stupidity in this watching time is sealing the senses of God’s people as to the signs of the times. The terrible iniquity which abounds calls for the greatest diligence and for the living testimony, to keep sin out of the church. Faith has been decreasing to a fearful degree, and it is only by exercise that it can increase.’ Testimonies Volume 3, page 255 – 256.
‘I counsel thee…’
- To restore the Laodicean church, what precious counsel does the faithful and true Witness give? Revelation 3: 18.
NOTE: ‘The True Witness counsels us to buy of Him gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eyesalve. The gold here recommended as having been tried in the fire is faith and love. It makes the heart rich; for it has been purged until it is pure, and the more it is tested, the more brilliant is its lustre. The white raiment is purity of character, the righteousness of Christ imparted to the sinner. This is indeed a garment of heavenly texture, that can be bought only of Christ for a life of willing obedience. The eyesalve is that wisdom and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise. God has given His church eyes which He requires them to anoint with wisdom, that they may see clearly; but many would put out the eyes of the church if they could; for they would not have their deeds come to the light, lest they should be reproved. The divine eyesalve will impart clearness to the understanding. Christ is the depository of all graces. He says: “Buy of Me.”’ Testimonies Volume 4, page 88.
- In order to buy these precious gifts from the faithful and true Witness, what work are the Laodiceans called upon to engage in? Revelation 3: 19.
NOTE: ‘The Lord has shown me in vision some things concerning the church in its present lukewarm state, which I will relate to you. The church was presented before me in vision. Said the angel to the church: “Jesus speaks to thee, ‘Be zealous and repent.’” This work, I saw, should be taken hold of in earnest. There is something to repent of. Worldly-mindedness, selfishness, and covetousness have been eating out the spirituality and life of God’s people. The danger of God’s people for a few years past has been the love of the world. Out of this have sprung the sins of selfishness and covetousness. The more they get of this world, the more they set their affections on it; and still they reach out for more. Said the angel: “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Yet many who profess to believe that we are having the last note of warning to the world, are striving with all their energies to place themselves in a position where it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for them to enter the kingdom. These earthly treasures are blessings when rightly used. Those who have them should realise that they are lent them of God and should cheerfully spend their means to advance His cause. They will not lose their reward here. They will be kindly regarded by the angels of God and will also lay up a treasure in heaven. I saw that Satan watches the peculiar, selfish, covetous temperament of some who profess the truth, and he will tempt them by throwing prosperity in their path, offering them the riches of earth. He knows that if they do not overcome their natural temperament, they will stumble and fall by loving mammon, worshipping their idol. Satan’s object is often accomplished. The strong love of the world overcomes, or swallows up, the love of the truth. The kingdoms of the world are offered them, and they eagerly grasp their treasure and think they are wonderfully prospered. Satan triumphs because his plan has succeeded. They have given up the love of God for the love of the world.’ Testimonies Volume 1, pages 141 – 142.
‘Behold I stand at the door’
- Where is the faithful and true Witness pictured as standing? Revelation 3: 20, first part.
NOTE: ‘I saw that many have so much rubbish piled up at the door of their heart that they cannot get the door open. Some have difficulties between themselves and their brethren to remove. Others have evil tempers, selfish covetousness, to remove before they can open the door. Others have rolled the world before the door of their heart, which bars the door. All this rubbish must be taken away, and then they can open the door and welcome the Saviour in.’ Testimonies Volume 1, pages 143.
‘The True Witness says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” Revelation 3: 20. Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgement will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth.’ Desire of Ages, page 490.
- What exceeding great and precious promise does the faithful and true Witness give to the one who opens the door to Him? Revelation 3: 20.
NOTE: ‘Oh, how precious was this promise, as it was shown to me in vision! “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Oh, the love, the wondrous love of God! After all our lukewarmness and sins He says: “Return unto Me, and I will return unto thee, and will heal all thy backslidings.”’ Testimonies, Volume 1, page 143.
‘So great is the unwillingness of the Lord to leave you, and such is His love toward you, that notwithstanding your life has not been in accordance with His will, and your works and ways have been offensive to Him, the Majesty of heaven condescends to beg the privilege of making you a visit and leaving you His blessing: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” The mansions in glory are His, and the joy of that heavenly abode; yet He humbles Himself to seek an entrance at the door of your heart, that He may bless you with His light and make you to rejoice in His glory. His work is to seek and to save that which is lost and ready to perish. He wishes to redeem as many as He can from sin and death, that He may elevate them to His throne and give them everlasting life.’ Testimonies Volume 2, page 224.
‘The Saviour… is not repulsed by scorn or turned aside by threatening, but continually seeks the lost ones, saying, “How shall I give thee up?” Hosea 11: 8. Although His love is driven back by the stubborn heart, He returns to plead with greater force, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” The winning power of His love compels souls to come in. And to Christ they say, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” Psalm 18: 35.’ Christ’s Object Lessons, page 235.
‘To him that overcometh…’
- What promise is given to the overcomer? Revelation 3: 21.
NOTE: ‘“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” We can overcome. Yes; fully, entirely. Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that we might overcome every evil temper, every sin, every temptation, and sit down at last with Him. It is our privilege to have faith and salvation. The power of God has not decreased. His power, I saw, would be just as freely bestowed now as formerly. It is the church of God that have lost their faith to claim, their energy to wrestle, as did Jacob, crying: “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” Enduring faith has been dying away. It must be revived in the hearts of God’s people. There must be a claiming of the blessing of God. Faith, living faith, always bears upward to God and glory; unbelief, downward to darkness and death.’ Testimonies Volume 1, page 144.
- How can we overcome our sins and weaknesses? Revelation 3: 21, 1 Peter 2: 21 – 23.
NOTE: ‘Ample provisions have been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about the work of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Strength, grace, and glory have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, so corrupt and vile, that they cannot find in Jesus, who died for them, strength, purity, and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, cease their course of iniquity, and turn with full purpose of heart to the living God. He is waiting to strip them of their garments, stained and polluted by sin, and to put upon them the white, bright robes of righteousness; and He bids them live and not die. In Him they may flourish. Their branches will not wither nor be fruitless. If they abide in Him, they can draw sap and nourishment from Him, be imbued with His Spirit, walk even as He walked, overcome as He overcame, and be exalted to His own right hand.’ Testimonies Volume 2, pages 453 – 454.
‘We are to seek for the pearl of great price, but not in worldly marts or in worldly ways. The price we are required to pay is not gold or silver, for this belongs to God. Abandon the idea that temporal or spiritual advantages will win for you salvation. God calls for your willing obedience. He asks you to give up your sins. “To him that overcometh,” Christ declares, “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.” Revelation 3: 21. There are some who seem to be always seeking for the heavenly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. They have not overcome unholy ambition and their love for worldly attractions. They do not take up the cross and follow Christ in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they cannot enter there. Almost but not wholly saved, means to be not almost but wholly lost.’ Christ’s Object Lessons, pages 117 – 118.