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     “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 art neither cold nor hot: I would that 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.  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.” Revelation 3:14-22.

Review and Herald,  vol 1, November, 1850, #1 “The Laodicean Church”, p 8
     Is this the true church?  God forbid!  Why, methinks the very angels in heaven would shudder to see them appear there in their present state.  Will they grow any better?  If the past is a criterion by which to judge, we answer, never, no, never.  Then you that hope for salvation, flee quickly, flee, I say, for your lives!  You have not one moment to spare.  Utter destruction awaits every soul that is found in this Laodicean state....
     Seventh state, Laodicea signifies, the judging of the people, "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness."  "I know thy word, 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."  Verses 16,17.  This state neither cold nor hot, represents their unsettled state...and thus they have been continually sinking into a lukewarm state, neither one thing nor yet another.  In this state it is impossible for them to be saved; for Jesus says that he will spue them out of his mouth, or destroy them.
     "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" verse 17....
     "I counsel of thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, [present truth, that has stood the trial of six years opposition, and now is shining brighter and brighter,] that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, [righteousness, or righteous acts of the saints,] and eye-salve that thou mayest see."  [See the present truth.]  Verse 18.  Jesus counsels no one to buy of him earthly riches, &c., no; it is the present truth that the Laodiceans must have to be saved.  "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent."  Verse 19.  Jesus still loves some that are in the Laodicean church, and calls on them to repent.  If they were deceived by false teachers, they must leave them as soon as possible, and be "zealous" and "repent;" for every one that is found in that state when Jesus leaves the Sanctuary, and ceases to plead for the honest ones among them, will be destroyed.  They must get back into the open door in the Philadelphia church that no man can shut, where they came from; for that is the only true church, or place of safety.  Read, in verse 20, the last, loving message of Jesus to you, - "Behold I stand at the door, and knock.  If any man hear my voice, and open the door, [the door of the heart,] I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  Jesus will commune with you if you will open your heart and receive the truth.  "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne."  Thus the promise is extended from verse 18th to the 22d.  Now is the time to repent and turn to the truth.  Be quick!  Hasten for your life!!
     Jesus is cleansing the Sanctuary, or is blotting out the errors of the house of Israel.  When this work is finished, he will take his place on the great white cloud.  Then, the seven Angels will pour out the seven last plagues.  This will begin the "great day of his wrath," Rev.vi,17.  This is the day of Babylon's plagues.  Her plagues will come in one prophetic "day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her."  Rev.xviii,8.
     "In all the land saith the Lord; TWO PARTS therein shall be cut off, and die; but the THIRD shall be left therein.  God says he will bring the THIRD PART through the fire, and refine them.  They shall call upon him, and he will hear them.  He will say IT IS MY PEOPLE; and they shall say the LORD IS MY GOD."  First part, SARDIS, the nominal church or Babylon.  Second part, Laodicea, the nominal Adventist.  Third part, Philadelphia, the only true church of God on earth, for they ask to be translated to the city of God.  Rev.iii,12; Heb.xii,22-24.  In the name of Jesus, I exhort you again to flee from the Laodiceans, as from Sodom and Gomorrah.  Their teachings are false and delusive; and lead to utter destruction.  Death!  DEATH!! eternal DEATH!!!  is on their track.  Remember Lot's wife.

Review and Herald, vol 8, October 16, 1856, #24, p 189-190
     Laodicea signifies, "the judging of the people," or, according to Cruden, "a just people," and fitly represents the present state of the church, in the great day of atonement, or judgment of the "house of God" while the just and holy law of God is taken as a rule of life....
     But, dear brethren, how humbling to us as a people is the sad description of this church.  And is not this dreadful description a most perfect picture of our present condition?  It is; and it will be of no use to try to evade the force of this searching testimony to the Laodicean church.  The Lord help us to receive it, and to profit by it.  What language could better describe our condition as a people, than this addressed to the Laodiceans?  "Neither hot nor cold," but "lukewarm."  It will not do, brethren, to apply this to the nominal churches, they are to all intents and purposes, "cold."  And the nominal Adventists are even lower than the churches, who justly look down upon them with horror for the infidel views, held by many of them, of no Sabbath, no family prayer, no Devil, no operation of the Holy Ghost, no pre-existence of the Son of God, and no resurrection of the unjust.
     The word "hot," represents the fervency, zeal and good works which are in accordance with the scriptures.  This is not our condition; yet the feeble efforts put forth by us as a people are such that we cannot be said to be "cold."  We are "lukewarm."  "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."  These are words of dreadful import.  A thorough change is the only hope of the remnant.  Here follows the reason why we are so offensive to the Lord:  "Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing."  We may not have boasted of our gold, silver, or of this world's goods; but have we not had, more or less, an exulting and an exalted spirit, in view of our position on plain Bible truth?  Our positions are fully sustained by an overwhelming amount of direct scriptural testimony; and certainly a theory of divine truth is indispensable; but we, as a people, have evidently rested down upon a theory of truth, and have neglected to seek Bible humility, Bible patience, Bible self-denial, and Bible watchfulness, and sacrifice, Bible holiness, and the power and gifts of the Holy Ghost, which the church may enjoy, according to the plain testimony of the Bible.  Hence it is said, "And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."  What a condition!
     And it is to be feared that many a poor Laodicean is so fast in this delusive snare, as to never fully feel the force of the counsel of the Saviour, to buy of him "gold tried in the fire," "white raiment," and "eyesalve."  These we cannot regard as representing the present truth, but rather, the graces of the Spirit, and attainments in the Christian course, which the present truth should lead us most earnestly to seek for.  "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent."  God's honest people will feel greatly rebuked and chastened by this description of their condition, and they will repent, heartily, zealously; but from the words, "as many," &c., we may fear for some, whose self-righteousness, and self-dependence, have carried them beyond the reach of the reproving Spirit, and the counsel of the true Witness.  Dear brethren, read and weep over the touching language from His lips which follows.  It is to you.
     "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."  How careless many of you have been of the reproofs and warning which the dear Saviour has given for your benefit.  He has been slighted and shut out by you till his locks are wet with the dew of night.  O, open your hearts to him.  Let your hard hearts break before him.  O, let him in.  A deep work of consecrating yourselves and all you have to him, will be necessary to prepare the way for him to come in and sup with you and you with him.  We dwell with pleasure upon this affectionate, this touching figure.  What an illustration of communion with Christ!  Who would not joyfully spread the table, and open the door for the dear Saviour to partake with them the last meal of the day, were he now a pilgrim on earth as at the first advent?  This we cannot do; but we can do those things required of us, and prepare the way of the Lord in our own hearts.  Covetousness, pride, selfishness, and love of the world must be put out of the heart before the Saviour will come in.  O, be not deceived.  Take the declarations of Christ and the apostles, which point out your duty as Christians, especially those which apply to you in the last stage of the church, while waiting for the coming of the Son of man, and let that word, like a two-edged sword, pierce your heart.  O, ye Laodiceans, our mouth is open unto you.  Be not deceived as to your real condition.  Christ will spue you out of his mouth unless you are zealous and repent.  Are you honoring the Lord with your substance, or are you covetous and worldly?  Are you laying up treasure on earth, or in heaven?  Is your love for the cause, and the salvation of your fellow-men increasing? or is it waning away?  Are you more watchful of your words, and the spirit you manifest? or are you growing careless, and losing your power to watch?  Are you dying daily, so that pride is put out of your heart? or does it find a rich soil and flourish there?  If the latter be your case in all these questions, no marvel that the dear Saviour is shut out, and now knocks for admission.
     Dear brethren, we must overcome the world, the flesh and the Devil, or we shall have no part in the kingdom of God.  Read the gracious promise to those of the Laodiceans who overcome.  "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."  Those only who suffer with Christ will reign with him.  We have much to overcome.  May God help us to set about the work with zeal.  Our guide in this work must be the plain word of God as it reads.  That exposes our sins, and declares what we must be.  If we are zealous and repent, and overcome, according to that word, we shall reign with Christ.  If not, Christ will spue us out of his mouth, cast us off for ever.
     Dear brethren, lay hold of this work at once, and in faith claim the gracious promises to the repenting Laodiceans.  Arise in the name of the Lord, and let your light shine to the glory of his blessed name.

Uriah Smith, Biblical Institute, p 250-252
     The last message is to the church of Laodicea.  This word signifies, the judging of the people; or according to Cruden, a just people.  And either of these definitions would apply to the time and people between the close of the first message, and the end of time; for in this period of the cleansing of the sanctuary the judgment of the people is going forward, and the result will finally be, "a just people;" a people freed from all their sins.
     This applies to the last generation of the church; and there is in this testimony that which should startle and arouse us.  This church, with the light respecting the soon coming of Christ shining clearly forth, and that great event even at the door, is found in a lukewarm, half-hearted, indifferent condition; and at the same time, the members deceived with the idea that they are rich and have need of nothing.  In this condition they are very offensive to God.  Not because in themselves they are worse than other people have been, or are, but because, having greater light, they should occupy a very advanced position.  "Therefore." says the True Witness, "I council thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich."  That is, love and faith working together, hand in hand to make them rich in good works, and rich toward God.  They are counseled to buy white raiment; that is, to put on a robe of righteousness, or to have their characters conform wholly to the law of God.  They are counseled also, to anoint their eyes with eyesalve that they may see.  This eyesalve is the unction from on high, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which gives us the true discernment in spiritual things.  And God's people, during this time, will be rebuked and chastened by him until they become zealous and repent.
     Christ stands at the door and knocks; and the promise is to him that will open the door that Christ will come in to him, and sup with him and he with Christ.  This denotes a union such as no church has ever before enjoyed; and an outpouring of the Spirit, and an exercising of the heavenly graces beyond anything in the previous experience of the church.  This is, without doubt, the arising of the "day star in the hearts" of believers, spoken of in 2Pet.1:19, and the time of refreshing spoken of by Peter in Acts 3:19, which the church is to experience just before the coming of Christ.  And they need this work wrought for them to enable them to stand during the fearful scenes with which the world's history shall close.
     Here it is, undoubtedly, that the parable of the wedding garment (Matt.22:11-13) applies.  The king comes in to see the guests, which is an examination of our characters in the sanctuary above.  A man is found there, not having on the wedding garment, or not prepared to stand the test of the Judgment; he is cast out into outer darkness.  And right in this critical time, when our cases in the sanctuary are pending, and we are unprepared for that searching test, the True Witness comes to us with an earnest entreaty to buy of him the white raiment, or to secure while we may the wedding garment to be prepared for the King when he shall come in to see the guests, and to bid those who are ready, to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  If we fail to heed this testimony, and so do not provide ourselves with gold, white raiment, and eyesalve, Christ here says, "I will spew thee out of my mouth."  The parable says, which is the same thing, that we shall be bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness.  Both expressions denote an utter and final rejection of the unfaithful.
     To the overcomer is here given a promise of sitting with Christ on his throne, as he has overcome and is now sitting with his Father in his throne.  This shows that Christ occupies two thrones; first, with his Father, where he in now seated, and has been ever since his ascension to Heaven; and secondly, the throne of his own kingdom, the throne of his father David, when he shall commence his reign immediately after his priestly work is done.

Uriah Smith, Daniel and Revelation, p 399-412
     Laodicea signifies the judging of the people, or, according to Cruden, a just people.  The message to this church brings to view the closing scenes of probation.  It reveals a period of judgment.  It is the last stage of the church.  It consequently applies to believers under the third message, the last message of mercy before the coming of Christ (see chapter 14:9-14), while the great day of atonement is transpiring, and the investigative Judgment is going forward upon the house of God, - a period during which the just and holy law of God is taken by the waiting church as their rule of life.
     These Things Saith the Amen. - This is, then, the final message to the churches ere the close of probation.  And though the description of their condition which he gives to the indifferent Laodiceans is fearful and startling, nevertheless it cannot be denied;  for the Witness is "faithful and true."  Moreover, he is "the beginning of the creation of God."  Some attempt by this language to uphold the error that Christ was a created being, dating his existence anterior to that of any other created being or thing, next to the self-existent and eternal God.  But the language does not necessarily imply that he was created;  for the words, "the beginning of the creation,"  may simply signify that the work of creation, strictly speaking, was begun by him.  "Without him was not anything made."  Others, however, and more properly we think, take the word to mean the "agent" or "efficient cause," which is one of the definitions of the word, understanding that Christ, is the agent through whom God has created all things, but that the Son came into existence in a different manner, as he is called "the only begotten" of the Father.  It would seem utterly inappropriate to apply this expression to any being created in the ordinary sense of that term.
     The charge he brings against the Laodiceans is that they are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold.  They lack that religious fervency, zeal, and devotion which their position in the world's closing history, with the light of prophecy beaming upon their pathway, demands that they should manifest;  and this lukewarmness is shown by a lack of good works;  for it is from a knowledge of their works that the faithful and true Witness brings this fearful charge against them.
     I Would Thou Wert Cold or Hot. - Three states are brought to view in this message, - the cold, the lukewarm, and the hot.  It is important to determine what condition they each denote, in order to guard against wrong conclusions.  Three conditions of spiritual life which pertain to the church, not to the world, are to be considered.  What the term hot means it is not difficult to conceive.  The mind at once calls up a state of intense fervency and zeal, when all the affections, raised to the highest pitch, are drawn out for God and his cause, and manifest themselves in corresponding works.  To be lukewarm is to lack this zeal, to be in a state in which heart and earnestness are wanting; in which there is no self-denial that costs anything, no cross-bearing that is felt, no determined witnessing for Christ, and no valiant aggression that keeps sinews strained and armor bright;  and, worst of all, it implies entire satisfaction with that condition.  But to be cold - what is that?  Does it denote a state of corruption, wickedness, and sin, such as characterizes the world of unbelievers?  We cannot so regard it, for the following reasons:-
     1.  It would seem harsh and repulsive to represent Christ as wishing, under any circumstances, that persons should be in such a condition;  but he says, "I would thou were cold or hot."
     2.  No state can be more offensive to Christ than that of the sinner in open rebellion, and his heart filled with every evil.  It would therefore be incorrect to represent him as preferring that state to any position which his people can occupy while they are still retained as his.
     3.  The threat of rejection in verse 16 is because they are neither cold nor hot.  As much as to say that if they were either cold or hot, they would not be rejected.  But if by cold is meant a state of open worldly wickedness, they would be rejected therefor very speedily.  Hence such cannot be its meaning.
     We are consequently forced to the conclusion that by this language our Lord has no reference whatever to those outside of his church, but that he refers to three degrees of spiritual affections, two of which are more acceptable to him than the third.  Heat and cold are preferable to lukewarmness.  But what kind of spiritual state is denoted by the term cold?  We may remark first that it is a state of feeling.  In this respect it is superior to lukewarmness, which is a state of comparative insensibility, indifference, and supreme self-satisfaction.  To be hot is also to be in a state of feeling.  And as hot denotes joyous fervency, and a lively exercise of all the affections, with a heart buoyant with the sensible presence and love of God, so by cold would seem to be denoted a spiritual condition characterized by a destitution of these traits, yet one in which the individual feels such destitution, and longs to recover his lost treasures.  This state is well expressed by the language of Job, "O that I knew where I might find him!"  Job23:3.  In this state there is not indifference, nor is there content;  but there is a sense of coldness, unfitness, and discomfort, and a groping and seeking after something better.  There is hope of a person in this condition.  What a man feels that he lacks and wants, he will earnestly strive to obtain.  The most discouraging feature of the lukewarm is that they are conscious of no lack, and feel that they have need of nothing.  Hence it is easy to see why our Lord should prefer to behold his church in a state of comfortless coldness, rather that in a state of comfortable, easy, indifferent lukewarmness.  Cold, a person will not long remain.  His efforts will soon lead him to the fervid state.  But lukewarm, there is danger of his remaining till the faithful and true Witness is obliged to reject him as a nauseous and loathsome thing.
     I Will Spue Thee out of My Mouth. - Here the figure is still further carried out, and the rejection of the lukewarm expressed by the nauseating effects of tepid water.  And this denotes a final rejection, an utter separation from his church.
     Rich, and Increased with Goods. - Such the Laodiceans think is their condition.  They are not hypocrites, because they "know not" that they are poor, miserable, blind, and naked.
     The Counsel Given Them. - Buy of me, says the true Witness, gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.  This shows at once to the deceived Laodiceans the objects they lack, and the extent of their destitution.  It shows too, where they can obtain those things in which they are so fearfully poor;  it brings before them the necessity of speedily obtaining them.  The case is so urgent that our great Advocate in the court above sends us special counsel on the point;  and the fact that he who has condescended to point out our lack, and counsel us to buy, is the one who has these things to bestow, and invites us to come to him for them, is the best possible guarantee that our application will be respected, and our requests granted.
     But by what means can we buy these things? - Just as we buy all other gospel graces.  "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money;  come ye, buy, and eat;  yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."  Isa.55:1.  We thus buy by the asking;  buy by throwing away the worthless baubles of earth, and receiving priceless treasures in their stead;  buy by simply coming and receiving;  buy, giving nothing in return.  And what do we buy on these gracious terms? - Bread that perishes not, spotless raiment that soils not, riches that corrupt not, and an inheritance that fadeth not.  Strange traffic, this! yet thus the Lord condescends to deal with his people.  He might compel us to come in the manner and with the mien of beggars;  but instead of this he gives us the treasures of his grace, and in return receives our worthlessness, that we may take the blessings he has to bestow, not as pittances dealt out to mendicants, but as the legitimate possessions of honorable purchase.
     The things to be obtained demand especial notice.  They are enumerated as follows:-
     1.  Gold Tried in the Fire. - Gold, literally considered, is the comprehensive name for all worldly wealth and riches.  Figuratively, it must denote that which constitutes spiritual riches.  What grace, then, is represented by the gold, or, rather, what graces? for doubtless no one single grace can be said to answer to the full import of that term.  The Lord said to the church of Smyrna that he knew their poverty, but they were rich;  and the testimony shows that their riches consisted of that which was finally to put them in possession of a crown of life.  Says James. "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?"  "Faith," says Paul, "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  To be "rich toward God," - rich in the spiritual sense, - is to have a clear title to the promises, - to be an heir of that inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us.  "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."  Gal.3:29.  And how do we obtain this heirship? - In the same way that Abraham obtained the promise;  that is, through faith.  Rom.4:13,14.  No wonder, then, that Paul should devote an entire chapter in Hebrews (chapter 11) to this important subject, setting forth the mighty achievements that have been accomplished, and the precious promises that have been obtained, through faith;  and that he should, in the first verse of the next chapter, as the grand conclusion to his argument, exhort Christians to lay aside every weight, and the sin (of unbelief) that so easily besets them.  Nothing will sooner dry up the springs of spirituality, and sink us into utter poverty in reference to the things of the kingdom of God, than to let faith go out and unbelief come in.  For faith must enter into every action that is pleasing in his sight;  and in coming to him, the first thing is to believe that he is;  and it is through faith, as the chief agent under the grace which is the gift of God, that we are to be saved.  Heb.11:6;  Eph.2:8.
     From this it would seem that faith is a principal element of spiritual wealth.  But if, as already remarked, no one grace can answer to the full import of the term gold, so, doubtless, other things are included with faith.  "Faith is the substance of things hoped for," says Paul.  Hence hope is an inseparable accompaniment of faith.  Heb.11:1;  Rom.8:24,25.
     And again Paul tells us that faith works by love, and speaks in another place of being "rich in good works."  Gal.5:6; 1Tim.6:18.  Hence love cannot be separated from faith.  We then have before us the three objects associated together by Paul in 1Cor.13, - faith, hope, and charity, or love;  and the greatest of these is charity.  Such is the gold tried by fire which we are counseled to buy.
     2.  White Raiment. - On this point there would not seem to be much room for controversy.  A few texts will furnish a key to the understanding of this expression.  Says the prophet, Isa.64:6, "All our righteousness are as filthy rags."  We are counseled to buy the opposite of filthy rags, which would be complete and spotless raiment.  The same figure is used in Zech.3:3,4.  And John, in the 19th chapter of the Revelation, verse 8, says plainly that "the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
     3.  The Eye-salve. - On this there is as little room for a diversity of opinion as upon the white raiment.  The anointing of the eyes is certainly not to be taken in a literal sense; and, reference being made to spiritual things, the eye-salve must denote that by which our spiritual discernment is quickened.  There is but one agent revealed to us in the word of God by which this is accomplished, and that is the Holy Spirit.  In Acts10:38 we read that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost."  And the same writer through whom came this Revelation from Jesus Christ, wrote to the church in his first epistle (chapter 2:20) as follows:  "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things."  In verse 27 he enlarges upon this point thus:  "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you:  but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."  By referring to his Gospel, it is found that the work which he here sets forth as accomplished by the anointing is exactly the same that he there attributes to the Holy Spirit.  John14:26:  "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."  (See also John16:13.)
     Thus in a formal and solemn manner are we counseled by the faithful and true Witness, under the figures of gold, white raiment, and eye-salve, to seek from him, speedily and earnestly, an increase of the heavenly graces of faith, hope, charity, that righteousness which he alone can furnish, and an unction from the Holy Spirit.  But how is it possible that a people lacking these things should think themselves rich and increased with goods?  A plausible inference may here be drawn, which is perhaps also a necessary one, as there is room for no other.  It will be observed that no fault is found with the Laodiceans on account of the doctrines they hold.  They are not accused of harboring any Jezebel in their midst, or of countenancing the doctrines of Balaam or the Nicolaitanes.  So far as we can learn from the address to them, their belief is correct, and their theory sound.  The inference therefore is that having a correct theory, therewith they are content.  They are satisfied with a correct form of doctrine without its power.  Having received light concerning the closing events of this dispensation, and having a correct theoretical knowledge of the truths that pertain to the last generation of men, they are inclined to rest in this to the neglect of the spiritual part of religion.  It is by their actions, doubtless, not by their words, that they say they are rich, and increased with goods.  Having so much light and so much truth, what can they want besides?  And if, with a commendable tenacity, they defend the theory, and in the letter, so far as their outward life is concerned, conform to the increasing light upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, is not their righteousness complete?  Rich, and increased with goods, and needing nothing!  Here is their failure.  Their whole being should cry out for the spirit, the zeal, the fervency, the life, the power, of a living Christianity, and their righteousness should consist in a swallowing up of self and all its works in the merits of their Redeemer.
     The Token of Love. - This, strange as it may seem, is chastisement.  "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten."  If we are without chastisement, we are not sons.  Heb.12.
     "A general law," says Thompson, "Of his gracious economy is here set forth.  As all need chastisement in some measure, they in some measure receive it, and thus have proof of the Saviour's attachment.  This is a hard lesson to learn, and believers are dull scholars;  yet here and throughout God's word and providence it stands, that trials are his benedictions, and that no child escapes the rod.  The incorrigibly misshapen and coarse-grained blocks are rejected, while those chosen for the glorious structure are subjected to the chisel and the hammer.  There is no cluster on the true vine but must pass through the winepress.  'For myself,' said an old divine under affliction, 'for myself, I bless God I have observed and felt so much mercy in this angry dispensation of God that I am almost transported.  I am, surely, highly pleased with thinking how infinitely sweet his mercies are, when his judgments are so gracious.'  In view, then, of the origin and design of the chastisements you receive, 'Be zealous and repent.'  Lose no time;  lose not a blow of the rod, but repent at once.  Be fervent in spirit.  Such is the first appliance of encouragement."
     Be Zealous and Repent. - Although, as we have seen, the state represented by coldness is preferable to one of lukewarmness, yet that is not a state in which our Lord ever desires to find us.  We are never exhorted to seek that state.  There is a far better one which we are counseled to attain:  and that is to be zealous, to be fervent, and to have our hearts all aglow in the service of our Master.
     Christ Knocking at the Door. - Let us listen again to the author above quoted:  "Here is the heart of hearts.  Notwithstanding their offensive attitude, their unlovely character, such is his love to their souls that he humbles himself to solicit the privilege of making them blessed.  'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.'  Why does he?  Not because he is without home elsewhere.  Among the mansions in his Father's house there is not one entrance closed to him.  He is the life of every heart, the light in every eye, the song on every tongue, in glory.  But he goes round from door to door in Laodicea.  He stands at each, and knocks, because he came to seek and to save that which is lost, because he cannot give up the purpose of communicating eternal life to as many as the Father has given him, and because he cannot become known to the inmate unless the door be opened and a welcome given him.  Have you bought a piece of ground? have you bought five yoke of oxen? is your hat in your hand, and do you pray to be excused?  He knocks and knocks.  but you cannot receive company at present;  you are worn out with labor;  you have wheeled round the sofa;  you are making yourself comfortable, and send word that you are engaged.  He knocks and knocks. . . . It is the hour for church prayer-meeting or for monthly concert;  there is opportunity to pay a Christian visit to an individual or a family;  but you move not.... Oh, nauseous lukewarmness!  Oh, fatal worldliness!  The Lord of glory comes all the way from his celestial palace - comes in poverty, in sweat, in blood - comes to the door of a professed friend, who owes all to him, and cannot get in! - comes to rescue a man whose house is on fire, and he will not admit him!  Oh, the height, the depth, of Jesus Christ's forbearance!  Even the heathen Publius received Paul, and lodged him three days courteously.  Shall nominal Christians tell the Lord of apostles that they have no room for him?"
     If Any Man Hear My Voice. - The Lord entreats, then, as well as knocks.  And the word if implies that some will not hear.  Though he stands and knocks and entreats till his locks are wet with the dews of night, yet some will close their ears to his tender entreaties.  But it is not enough simply to hear.  We must hear, and open the door.  And many who at first hear the voice, and for a time feel inclined to heed, will doubtless, alas! fail in the end to do that which is necessary to secure to themselves the communion of the heavenly Guest.  Reader, are your ears open to the entreaties which the Saviour directs to you?  Is the sound of his voice a welcome sound?  Will you heed it?  Will you open the door and let him in?  Or is the door of your heart held fast by heaps of this world's rubbish, which you are unwilling to remove?  Remember that the Lord of life never forces an entrance.  He condescends to come and knock, and seek admittance;  but he takes up his abode in those hearts only where he is then a welcome and invited guest.
     And then the promise!  "I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  How forcible and touching the figure!  Friend with friend, partaking of the cheerful and social meal!  Mind with mind, holding free and intimate converse!  And what a festal scene must that be where the King of glory is a guest!  No common degree of union, no ordinary blessing, no usual privilege, is denoted by this language.  Who, under such tender entreaty and so gracious a promise, can remain indifferent?  Nor are we required to furnish the table for this exalted Guest.  This he does himself, not with gross nutriment of earth, but with viands from his own heavenly storehouse.  Here he sets before us foretastes of the glory soon to be revealed.  Here he gives us earnests of our future inheritance, which is incorruptible, undefiled, and fadeth not away.  Verily, when we shall comply with the conditions, and receive this promise, we shall experience this rising of the day star in our hearts, and behold the dawn of a glorious morning for the church of God.
     The Final Promise. - The promise of supping with his disciples is made by the Lord before the final promise to the overcomer is given.  This shows that the blessings included in that promise are to be enjoyed in this probationary state.  And now, superadded to all these, is the promise to the overcomer:  "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."  Here the promises of the Lord culminate.  From being at first rebellious, and then fallen, degraded, and polluted, man is brought by the work of the Redeemer back into reconciliation with God, cleansed from his pollutions, redeemed from the fall, made immortal, and finally raised to a seat upon the very throne of his Saviour.  Honor and exaltation could go no farther.  Human minds cannot conceive that state, human language cannot describe it.  We can only labor on till, if overcomers at last, we shall "know what it is to be there."
     In this verse there is not only a glorious promise, but there is also an important doctrine.  We learn by this that Christ reigns consecutively upon two thrones.  One is the throne of his Father, the other is his own throne. He declares in this verse that he has overcome, and is now set down with his Father in his throne.  He is now associated with the Father in the throne of universal dominion, placed at his right hand, far above all principality, power, might, and dominion.  Eph.1:20-22, etc.  While in this position, he is a priest-king.  He is a priest, "a minister of the sanctuary;"  but at the same time he is "on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens."  Heb.8:1,2.  This position and work of our Lord was thus predicted by the prophet Zechariah:  "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts [God], saying, Behold the man whose name is the Branch [Christ];  and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord....And he [Christ] shall sit and rule upon his [God's] throne;  and he [Christ] shall be a priest upon his {God's} throne;  and the counsel of peace [in the sacrifice and priestly work of Christ in behalf of repenting man] shall be between them both."  Zech.6:12,13.  But the time is coming when he is to change his position, and, leaving the throne of his Father, take his own throne;  and this must be when the time comes for the reward of the overcomers;  for when they enter upon their reward, they are to sit with Christ on his throne, as he has overcome, and is now seated with the Father upon his throne.  This change in the position of Christ is set forth by Paul in 1Cor.15:24-28, as follows:-
     "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;  when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For he hath put all things under his feet.  But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
     The truths taught in this portion of Scripture may perhaps be most briefly expressed by a slight paraphrase, and by giving, in every instance, instead of the pronouns, the nouns to which they respectively refer.  Thus:-
"Then cometh the end (of the present dispensation), when Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom (which he now holds conjointly with the Father) to God, even the Father;  when God shall have put down all rule and all authority and power (that is opposed to the work of the Son).  For Christ must reign (on the throne of his Father) till the Father hath put all enemies under Christ's feet.  But when God saith, All things are put under Christ (and he commences his reign upon his own throne), it is manifest that God is excepted, who did put all things under Christ.  And when all things shall be subdued unto Christ, then shall Christ also himself be subject unto God that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
     That this is a correct version of this scripture may be easily verified.  The only question that can be raised is concerning the persons to whom the pronouns refer;  and any attempt to make the pronouns refer to Christ which in the foregoing paraphrase are referred to God, will be found, when traced through the quotation, to make poor sense of Paul's language.
     From this it will be seen that the kingdom which Christ delivers up to the Father is that which he holds at the present time upon his father's throne, where he tells us he is now seated.  He delivers up this kingdom at the end of this dispensation, when the time comes for him to take his own throne.  After this he reigns on the throne of his father David, and is subject only to God, who still retains his position upon the throne of universal dominion.  In this reign of Christ the saints participate.  "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne."  "And they lived," says John, dating from the first resurrection (chapter 20:4), "and reigned with Christ a thousand years."  This we understand to be a special reign, or for a special purpose, as will be noticed in that chapter;  for the actual reign of the saints is to be "forever and ever."  Dan.7:18,27.  How can any earthly object divert our gaze from this durable and heavenly prospect?
     Thus close the messages to the seven churches.  How pointed and searching their testimony!  What lessons do they contain for all Christians in all ages!  It is as true with the last church as with the first, that all their works are known to Him who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.  From his scrutinizing gaze nothing can be hidden.  And while his threatenings to the hypocrites and evil workers, as in justice they may be, are awful, how ample, how comforting, how gracious, how glorious, his promises to those who love and follow him with singleness of heart!
Gracious words of counsel, messages of love,
Sent to all his children from the Lord on High:
Precious are these warnings from the throne above,
As the world's last crisis swiftly draweth nigh.
Weak and all unworthy we, his children, are -
Pure and perfect must be ere we see his face;
Now for us the Saviour shows his tender care,
Offering for our purchase every heavenly grace.
Let each boundless promise every bosom thrill,
Bear us through sad ills this world has ever known.
Till we reach the mansions on God's holy hill,
Till we sit with Jesus on his glorious throne.