The Lord’s word to Laodicea is a warning to us today – if we are proud in following the Lord, considering ourselves as rich and in need of nothing, the Lord will spew us out of His mouth, for we are lukewarm in His eyes.
The Lord knows our works: He knows whether we are hot or cold, and if we are lukewarm – not burning for Him nor being cold about Him but just being proud of our spiritual history and heritage, then He will spew us out of His mouth.
In the Lord’s eyes, the main characteristics of Laodicea are lukewarmness and spiritual pride. Being lukewarm is not something outward – it is not a division or a doctrine, but an inward condition before the Lord. We need to take care of our inward condition before the Lord so that we may be saved from any lukewarmness and spiritual pride.
The ones in Catholicism or Protestantism are not proud – many of them are rather deprived of solid spiritual food, and quite a few of them are dormant or dying; it is only the fallen and degraded Philadelphia that is proud of their spiritual history, and therefore walk in the way of Laodicea.
We cannot deny the spiritual history and heritage in the Lord’s recovery, but this glorious history and wonderful ministry should not cause us to be proud or content, thinking we are rich and in need of nothing.
May the Lord really shine on us, expose our real condition before Him, and keep us hungry for Him, always seeking to know Him, be filled with Him, and being simple to keep His word and not deny His name.
The Lord has been merciful to us and has brought us under the ministry of the age, and we have the high peak of the divine revelation; the conclusion and issue of this should be that we need to humble ourselves before God and always be filled with humility toward others.
The truth is that everything we have has been given to us, we are not the source, and it is not of ourselves; it is the Lord’s mercy and grace to be where we are and see what we see, and therefore we need His mercy to keep us, take us on, and bring us forward with Him step by step.
May we be those who walk in the way of Philadelphia and are kept away from spiritual pride or lukewarmness, always being hot for the Lord!
Living before the Lord Continually to be Saved from being Proud and thus be Spewed out of His Mouth
When studying the seven epistles to the seven churches in Revelation we realize that the last four – the church in Thyatira (the Roman Catholic church), the church in Sardis (the Reformed church), the church in Philadelphia (the Brethren – and, we hope, the Lord’s recovery today), and the church in Laodicea (the fallen Brethren movement and, we hope not, the ones in the Lord’s recovery who live in the principle of Laodicea) will remain until the Lord’s return.
Every child of God today has to choose the pathway he should take with regards to the church: should he join the Roman Catholic church with her deadness, mixture, deep evil things, and idolatry, or should he join the Protestant churches with a good doctrine but full of death.
Furthermore, he can choose to take the way of Philadelphia, living in the church of brotherly love and keeping the Lord’s word, or if he chose Philadelphia he could be in the way of Laodicea if he’s proud, forsakes the way of life, and neglects reality, while reminiscing on his own history and riches. Oh Lord Jesus!
We all have a choice, especially in the Lord’s recovery: if we become proud, forsake the way of life, and neglect the reality, while at the same time remembering our history and riches, what we have is Laodicea, the church where each one has an opinion.
Among such ones there can only be discussion and consensus, voting and agreement; it appears to be a democratic society but it bears no resemblance to the relationship in the Body.
Among those in fallen Philadelphia there is a voting to decide things (and not the leading of the Spirit), and there’s no inner knowledge of the binding, authority, and life of the Body, for the brotherly love is gone.
May there be a binding of the Body among us, may we live the life of the Body, and may we know the authority in the Body, loving one another and being in the real brotherhood.
Those who follow the Lord, however, have no pride; they know their inner situation before the Lord, they humble themselves before Him, and they know that, if they dare to be proud, the Lord will spew the proud ones out of His mouth.
God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble; therefore, we all should gird ourselves with humility (1 Pet. 5:5) so that we may receive the Lord’s mercy and grace and remain in the way of Philadelphia. Once we become proud, we become Laodicea.
Once we have the attitude that we know better, we have the high truth but others don’t, and we understand the word better than others, we fall into spiritual pride and the Lord will spew us out of His mouth.
May the Lord be merciful to us in the Lord’s recovery: His word to Laodicea is a warning to all of us – we must NOT be proud in our speaking. Rather, we must live before the Lord continually, and we will refrain from proud words or a proud attitude.
Only those who live before God continually will not consider themselves rich, and they will not be proud. May we all just live before the Lord continually, be in His presence, and not live in our natural man or our self, which is often the expression of our pride.
Lord Jesus, be merciful to us that we would not be proud in following You so that You would not spew us out of Your mouth. Lord, we want to simply live before You continually so that we may know our real situation and realize our urgent need for more of You and for Your word. May our living be before You, seeking Your face and living in Your presence, so that we may be saved from pride, be girded with humility, and receive Your grace and mercy. Oh Lord Jesus, we just love You and we want to live in the way of Philadelphia today!
Repenting and being Hot for the Lord so that He won’t Spew us out of His Mouth
We need to live before the Lord in fear and trembling, realizing that there’s nothing that we have which has not been given to us, and we really are nothing, can do nothing, and amount to nothing without the Lord and His constant supply.
On His side, the Lord is faithful to supply us with His life, His riches, His up-to-date speaking, and His word; on our side, we need to be humble before Him, be hot for the Lord, and not be proud of what we have while not having the reality of what the Lord has shown us.
Because the church in Laodicea considered she was rich and in need of nothing, the Lord warned her that He will spew her out of His mouth for being lukewarm. Oh Lord Jesus, save us from being lukewarm!
What does it mean for the Lord to spew the church out of His mouth? It means that the Lord and the church in Philadelphia are fully organically one, but if the church becomes proud and lukewarm, she will be rejected by the Lord and will lose the enjoyment of all that the lord is to His church.
The Lord charged the church in Laodicea, saying, “Be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19). Dead knowledge has made the degraded church lukewarm. She needs to become crazily burning by dropping the deadening and cooling knowledge, and she even needs to break the bondage of her doctrinal forms. She needs to be boiling rather than to be dead right according to dead doctrine. She needs to love the Lord and pay any price to gain Him, even at the cost of sacrificing the “doctrines.” A lukewarm church needs to be hot, to be burning at any cost. She needs to repent of her lukewarmness, not to be proud of her knowledge any longer,…and repent of being satisfied with the vanity of knowledge and not with the reality of Christ. (Life-study of Revelation, p. 207, by Witness Le)
Our problem in the church life many times is that we are neither hot nor cold – we are just lukewarm. We have the truths in the ministry, we have the life practices, and we follow the God-ordained way, but we are not burning – we just go along with what others do, week by week…
We would not consider being lukewarm being so bad – at least we’re not cold toward the Lord! But the Lord doesn’t say that He will spew out the cold ones out of His mouth – He spews out the lukewarm ones! This is a real warning to us.
It is possible that the recovery – 90 years on from what the Lord did in China, 70 years on from what He did in Taiwan, and 60 years on from what He did in the USA, would become lukewarm. We may not be burning. We may have lost the fire.
We may have lost the boiling heat toward the Lord and the spiritual things. Yet at the same time we may brag about our history and our past; we know everything, we can quote the word and the ministry, and we may think we have it all, we have learned it all, we have no need of any training….we are just lukewarm. Oh Lord Jesus!
Mere spiritual knowledge of the truth can make us dead – we are dead yet full of knowledge; we need to break the bondage of any doctrinal forms and be boiling rather than lukewarm!
We need to love the Lord, pay the price to gain Him, and even put aside the doctrines and past experiences to just gain the Lord in a fresh, living, and fervent way.
Lord Jesus, save us from lukewarmness. Save us from living in the way of Laodicea, being full of spiritual knowledge but void of inward reality and without any burning toward the Lord. Rekindle our love for You, and keep us loving You and the brothers fervently. Lord, we want to pay the price to gain You, even at the cost of sacrificing the doctrines and putting away any experiences in the past. We just want to gain You, obtain You, and have Your fresh appearing and speaking so that we may go on with You and be built up together in love as Your testimony, the church!
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, Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 50, ch. 45, 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:
# How sweet, how heav’nly is the sight, / When those who love the Lord / In one another’s peace delight, / And so fulfill His Word:…When, free from envy, scorn and pride, / Our wishes all above, / Each can his brother’s failings hide, / And show a brother’s love. (Hymns #857)
# Lukewarmness we must ever spurn / And in the spirit always burn, / The inward life experience gain, / And pay the price with Him to reign. (Hymns #1274)
# Burning, burning, we are burning, / Ever to our spirits turning, / One for Thine eternal purpose, / in spirit one; / On the ground of locality, / We express our unity— / Many members, but one Body, / Christ as our Head. (Hymns #1266)
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