In His concluding word to the church in Laodicea the Lord tells them that He’s outside the door, knocking, and if anyone hears the Lord’s voice and opens the door, He will come in to Him and will dine with Him, and he who overcomes will reign with Him on the throne just as He overcame and was given to reign on the throne by His Father (Rev. 3:20-21).
The degraded recovered church is advised by the Lord to buy from Him gold refined by fire (so that she may be rich), white garments (so that she may be clothed and the shame of her nakedness may not be manifested), and eyesalve to anoint her eyes (so that she may see).
Therefore, she had to repent, be zealous, and return to the Lord; whoever in Laodicea hear His voice, open the door, and let Him in so that he may dine with Him and Him with him, he will be produced as an overcomer who will reign with Him on the throne.
In the church life in the Lord’s recovery we cannot say whether we are in the church in Philadelphia or in Laodicea, but we want to live in the principle of Philadelphia.
Furthermore, we want to take the Lord’s word and pay the price to buy from Him the living faith to enjoy and partake of the golden divine nature, so that He may clothe us and become our living; also, we want to pay the price to gain the eyesalve, the anointing Spirit, so that we may see.
It is not enough that many years ago we paid the price and gained Christ; today we need to pay the necessary price – which may be a higher price than many years ago – to gain Christ, experience Him, and have Him lived out of us.
We need to have the Lord’s present leading, speaking, anointing, and teaching; we need the Lord’s healing, His speaking, His covering, and His enriching. For this, we need to have a pure heart so that we may see God and gain God; to gain God is to receive God in His element, life, and nature, so that we may be constituted with Him.
May we be the ones who pay the price to gain Christ day by day so that we may give Him the ground to build Himself into our being.
May we Hear the Lord’s Voice, Open the Door, Let Him in, Dine with Him, and Overcome!
To the church in Laodicea the Lord says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock – this indicates that the Lord’s presence is not with the church in Laodicea, but He is outside the door of the church, seeking to come in.
The door is not the door of the hearts of individuals but the door of the church. The Lord Himself as the Head of the church is outside the degraded recovered church, knocking at her door.
He wants to come in, but He wants many in the church to first hear His voice, then open the door of their heart to Him, and He will come in to them and dine with them, and they with Him (Rev. 3:20).
If we are lukewarm and filled with spiritual pride, the Lord’s presence is not with us; we may think we are rich and have everything, but the Lord’s presence is not in us and with us.
As those who love the Lord and care for His interest on earth, we must realize and hold on to one principle: God’s presence is the criterion for every matter. Therefore, regardless of what we do, we must pay attention not merely to the result or the means we do that thing, but whether or not we have God’s presence (Exo. 33:11, 14; 2 Cor. 2:10; Psa. 27:8; 105:4).
The Lord is dealing with the whole church: He knocks at the door of the church, but our acceptance of the Lord’s dealing and seeking of His instant presence must be personal matter. The Lord’s dealing is objective, but our acceptance must be subjective.
If we hear the Lord’s voice and open the door in a personal way, the Lord will come in to us, His presence will be our portion, we will dine with Him and He with us, and this will produce us as His overcomers today.
May we be saved from merely having a lot of spiritual knowledge but not having the Lord’s presence. May we realize that we can never graduate from the personal, intimate, and secret opening of our whole being to the Lord.
We need to open to Him in our secret time with Him, in our special place where we take time to behold Him and touch Him, so that we would open the door of our heart to Him again and again and dine with Him and Him with us.
As we open to the Lord and let Him in, His presence becomes our feast, and we are subjectively supplied and encouraged; this produces us as His overcomers, and He will reward us with ruling and reigning with Him – even as He overcame and was given to rule with His Father.
If we hear the Lord’s voice, open the door of our heart to Him, and dine with Him, He as the Overcomer will reproduce Himself in us to make us His many overcomers, those who overcome in Him and by Him.
Lord Jesus, cause us to hear Your voice, open the door of our heart, and let You come in to dine with us. Lord, Your presence is everything to us. We don’t want to do anything without Your sweet presence and smile. We don’t want to keep You outside of our heart: come in, Lord, and let us feast on Your presence until we are produced as Your overcomers, those who reign with You on the throne. Amen! Lord, we want to never graduate from the personal, intimate, and secret opening of our whole being to You!
Hearing what the Spirit Speaks to the Churches and Overcoming to Reign with Christ
The Lord’s promise to the overcomers in Laodicea is that those who overcome will be given to sit with Him on His throne, just as He also overcame and sat with His Father on His throne; therefore, those who have an ear, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches (see Rev. 3:21-22).
To each of the seven churches the Lord has a specific word, and His reward is particular for the overcomers in each church.
To overcome in the church in Laodicea is to overcome the lukewarmness and pride of the degraded recovered church, and to pay the price to buy the gold, the white garments, and the eyesalve; also, it is to open the door so that the Lord can come in, and He as the unique Overcomer will make us His overcomers.
To those who overcome the degradation in the recovered church the Lord will give to reign with Him in the coming kingdom, just as the Father gave Him to reign with Him as He overcame.
What we need today is not to be filled with dead knowledge and doctrines but be filled with the burning Spirit; we need the speaking of the living Spirit! We need to forget all our dead knowledge and listen to the speaking of the living Spirit so that we may be delivered from our degraded situation.
To sit with the Lord on His throne will be a prize to the overcomer so that he may participate in the Lord’s authority and be a co-king with Him in ruling over the whole earth in the coming millennial kingdom.
We need to see that the seven epistles in Revelation 2 and 3 were written as one book to the seven churches; these epistles were addressed by the Lord to the seven particular churches separately (2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14), but they were sent not as seven books but as one book. Although the contents of the seven epistles differ, at the end of each epistle there is the same closing word: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). This means that each epistle was written to all the churches, and it indicates that in all the positive things of the Lord Jesus, the churches should be the same; in the Lord’s speaking to the seven churches, the positive things were commended, strengthened, encouraged, and exalted by the Lord for their abounding. The seven churches differed abnormally only in the negative things, which were rebuked, judged, condemned, and corrected by the Lord for elimination. If the lukewarm church forgets all her dead knowledge and listens to the speaking of the living and burning Spirit, she will be delivered from her degraded condition. 2016 fall ITERO, outline 8
What the Lord wants is that all the positive aspects of the churches would become our experience, and all the negative aspects in these seven churches would be eradicated, eliminated, and removed from all the local churches.
The Lord wants us to have the labor, endurance, and hating the works of the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:2-3, 6 – Ephesus), the suffering of tribulation, poverty, and trial, and being faithful to the Lord (Rev. 2:9-10 – Smyrna), holding fast the Lord’s name and not denying the faith of the Lord (Rev. 2:13 – Pergamos), love, faith, service, and endurance (Rev. 2:19 – Thyatira), not defiling our garments (Rev. 3:4 – Sardis), and keeping the word of the Lord and not denying His name (Rev. 3:8, 10 – Philadelphia).
At the same time He wants to remove and eradicate such negative items as leaving the first love (Ephesus), any love for the world or things of the world (Pergamos), fear of suffering for the Lord’s name (Smyrna), having a name that we are living but we are dead, and not having our works completed before God (Sardis), being neither hot nor cold but rather being spiritually proud (Laodicea).
Lord Jesus, we want to forget all our dead knowledge and listen to the speaking of the living and burning Spirit so that we may be delivered from our degraded condition and be brought back to the orthodoxy of the church. Be merciful to us, Lord, and grant us to have an ear to hear what the Spirit is speaking to the churches today. Speak to us, shine on us, burn in us, and bring us back to our first love, our first works, keeping Your word, and not denying Your name. Lord Jesus, we love You!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Revelation, pp. 201-210 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church (2016 fall ITERO), msg. 8 (week 8), The Church in Laodicea.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Behold, I stand at the door and knock; / If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, / Then I will come in to him and dine with him / and he with Me. / He who overcomes, / To him I will give / To sit with Me on My throne, / As I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne. (Scripture song)
# How I love Your reigning life, Lord. / How I love abundant grace. / How I love to have Your presence, / As I live before Your face. / By Your life, Lord, I am reigning. / I am over, over everything. / As I’m joyfully confessing, / Jesus, as my Lord and King. (Song on reigning with the Lord)
# Lord, shine Your light on us today / That we may fully go Your way; / Anoint our eyes and let us see / So You can have recovery. (Hymns #1274)
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