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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
CHURCH IN LAODICEA
“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…” (Rev.
Laodicea was a notably wealthy city.
It was the center of the banking interests of Asia Minor.
Twice Laodicea had suffered severely from the ravages of earthquakes.
In AD 17 it had been devastated by the same earthquake which laid waste
Sardis and Philadelphia. At that
time it received the same kindness and aid from Tiberius, the Roman Emperor, as
these other cities had received. But
in AD 60 it was again laid waste, and this time, although all aid and assistance
was offered, Laodicea completely refused them, and preferred to rebuild its
shattered city out of its own resources. Laodicea
was too rich to accept help from
anyone! Tacitus, the Roman
historian, tells us, “Laodicea rose from the ruins by the strength of her own
resources, and with no help from us.” The
Laodiceans were people who were so well off that they needed help neither from
man nor from God! They were people
who believed that money could buy anything; and they had so much of it they
could very well manage without God — so they thought.
But the omniscient Lord of the church said to them in effect, “You are
rich and prosperous, and are proud of your riches, and trust in them; but in the
things that matter, the truly spiritual
things, you are poverty-stricken — and you do not know it!
It seemed everything this city did resulted in wealth and the church
itself was taken in by the spirit
of materialism. There is no doubt
about it — they preached the “prosperity doctrine”!
A lot of very wealthy and influential people belonged to the church.
Apparently these wealthy people gave liberally to the church and
the church had everything. You talk
about a beautiful building — they had it!
They had the most beautiful stained-glass windows, the plushest pews, the
most exquisite draperies and carpet, the finest musical instruments, the most
polished speakers, and a choir that attracted people from miles around.
In this super-wealthy city everything was the greatest!
When the church members came to the Sunday morning meeting they drove up
in a Rolls Royce chariot, or a Mercedes chariot, or some other expensive
The pastors of these people could come to church and not even trust God!
All they had to do was pull a little harder and all the rich
people would give more. They were
able to finance all kinds of pageants and programs and so-called ministries.
They weren’t really trusting God at all, they were smug in their
own ability and using the deceptive methods of the world.
I have been in meetings where the offerings were a circus!
Preachers have made offering taking into an art, they pride themselves in
what kind of an offering they can take, how they can push the right button, say
the right thing, and the finances will come rolling in.
The easiest way to do this is to convince people that the primary
evidence of God’s blessing is in financial prosperity, having all their carnal
and material needs and wants met, and the secret to this blessing is, of course,
in their giving to them!
God, they are told, will then restore their “seed” to them a
hundred-fold! There is some truth
in that, but I do not hesitate to tell you that material prosperity is not
the primary evidence of God’s blessing and favor!
The true riches are the spiritual,
heavenly things of the Spirit of God!
What are spiritual things?
What are treasures in heaven?
What are the true riches?
Let me simplify this for you.
If sinners can have it or do it without
God — it’s not spiritual!
Someone says, “I’m spiritual because I fast.”
Witches fast! Another says,
“I’m spiritual because I prosper and give vast sums of money to this
ministry and that.” Indeed!
Mafia king-pins also prosper and give large amounts of money to all kinds
of worthy causes that help and bless people, and the good they do is often more
than the churches do with their money. You
see, precious friend of mine, human nature is wont to equate spirituality with
what we do, or with what we possess.
No! A thousand times no!
Even the term “spiritual” indicates that it requires the power and
ability of the SPIRIT, or that it is an expression of the SPIRIT.
Therefore, when we walk in the Spirit and are led by the Spirit, what
flows out of us is a dispensation of the life and glory and power and wisdom and
nature and will of God Himself — that
is spiritual! Sinners can’t do
that! The carnal mind can’t
produce that! The fleshly nature
can’t generate that! Self-effort
is eternally and completely unable to perform that!
Answered prayer — that’s spiritual.
Deliverance and transformation — that’s spiritual.
Speaking the words of God — that’s spiritual.
Loving your enemies — that’s spiritual.
Blessing them that curse you — that’s spiritual.
The peace that passeth understanding — that’s spiritual.
Laying down your life for creation — that’s spiritual.
Putting on the mind of Christ — that’s spiritual.
Being led by the Spirit of God — that’s spiritual.
Money can’t buy these things. The
natural man can’t mimic these things. These
are the true riches!
George Hawtin described the LAODICEAN CONDITION in these words: “It is
hard to tell a rich man that he is poverty stricken.
It is almost impossible to disturb the composure of one who thinks he has
need of nothing, who never surmises for a moment that he is miserable and
wretched, poor and blind and naked. Yet
such is the condition throughout the world and the entire realm of professing
Christendom. I well remember a
precious old lady who, having grown hard of hearing, imagined that her family
intentionally spoke in subdued tones so that she would not hear their
conversation, but, when after much difficulty she was persuaded to go to the
doctor to have her ears washed out, then she wondered why everyone in the house
was shouting so. That is just the
way God’s people are in this the hour of Laodicea!
They are blind but think they can see perfectly.
They have grown deaf to the true voice of God, yet they are positive
there is nothing wrong with their hearing.
They are full of religion and talk loudly of signs and wonders, but do
not know that they are lukewarm in their love and relationship to God.
Their works abound on every hand, but they are unaware that God has
neither sent them nor required these labors of them.
It is time, oh child of God, to seek the quiet of the wilderness where
every voice of man is hushed and no one has opportunity to speak but God”
— end quote.
A great deception has circulated among the Lord’s people for many years
now, and that is the deception of abundant prosperity.
Evangelists, television and radio hucksters, as well as other pulpiteers
have encouraged the Lord’s people to believe God for wealth and prosperity and
to seek for it earnestly. With
great enthusiasm these preachers of “another gospel” have encouraged the
Lord’s people to indulge themselves in the lust and greed for temporal things
and for money and great wealth. The
apostle Paul wrote of a similar condition which prevailed in his day, and warned
the people of God with these words, “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting
about…perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth,
that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can
carry nothing out. And having food
and raiment let us therewith be content.
they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish
and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they
have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many
sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee
these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience,
meekness” (I Tim. 6:4-11).
The modern “faith” message of health, wealth, and prosperity is the
cardinal doctrine of the church of the Laodiceans!
I do not mean by this that the Lord has not promised to heal, bless, and
meet all of our needs. Of course He
has! It is a matter of focus.
The “faith” message, as preached today, would have us believe that
salvation’s greatest benefits are physical,
material, and temporal.
Untold thousands of commitments to Christ have been motivated by the
expectation of the “good life” to be had by all who follow Jesus!
We hear exclusively of the wonderful, exciting, and miraculous
“abundant life” that God is just waiting to bestow upon those who only
believe — and
send in their “seed faith” offering! It
will be a great blessing to your spiritual life to realize, however, that the
substance of true commitment to Christ is that “He died for all, that those
who live should
no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on
their behalf” (II Cor. 5:15). Jesus
did not instruct His disciples to count their blessings, but to count
the cost of their commitment to follow Him, for the route to mount Zion
where we reign with Him first passes over mount Calvary where we lay down our
life with Him. When one is
delivered from the flesh appeal of the things of this
world and finds Christ Himself as the substance and reality of life, it then
matters not whether we drive a shiny new Lexus or a rusted old Ford Escort.
The mark of our spirituality will not be whether we clear $100,000 after
taxes or subsist on $600 a month Social Security, for when CHRIST HIMSELF IS OUR
LIFE AND ALL WE NEED, WE HAVE NEED OF NOTHING!
When Christ becomes our only measure, value, and goal we are then an overcomer
out of the church of the Laodiceans! Then
we are truly rich!
The church of the Laodiceans loves our national hymn, but they prefer to
sing it thus:
Oh beautiful for dividends
Of twenty-five percent
On oil and technology
On money freely lent
Oh blessed land of bumper crops
May riches be our fate!
Increase our wealth and save our health
American, the Great!
brother wrote me, saying, “Someone sent me a videotape of a convention
sponsored by a well-known prosperity preacher.
I was so appalled by what was being taught I could hardly contain myself.
It was blasphemy! One
preacher boasted, ‘I spent $15,000 for a dog.
This ring on my finger cost $32,000.
I live in an 8,000 square-foot house, but I’m going to build a bigger
one — one Solomon would be proud of! When
the people of my town see my big house and my Rolls Royce in the driveway, they
know there is a God in heaven!’ I
wanted to weep because the entire time he spoke, people were running on stage
and stuffing money in his pockets. They
all claimed to be rich men.
The tragedy was, the people loved it!
They were being exploited by a perverted gospel.”
Beloved, do not listen to this false gospel.
It is satanic. It comes from
the heart of men who are earthly minded, carnal, sensual, frivolous, jokesters,
greedy for more. Isaiah the prophet
has their number: “Yea, they are greedy
dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot
understand: they all look their own way, every
one for his gain, from his quarter” (Isa. 56:11).
God has blessed you with the riches of this world, dear reader, humbly give Him
thanks and use it wisely and for His glory.
Oh, yes! God will meet your
needs! He will bring you into true
life and immortality! But do not
make money and things the indicator of divine approval or the barometer of spirituality!
To do so will cause your spiritual goals to be redirected into the
senseless futility of human avarice. The
pursuit of temporal treasures is a counterfeit gospel, cunningly designed to
make you miss the truth and life of sonship.
The daily pursuit of earthly riches is a pill of spiritual poison!
Material prosperity is certainly enjoyable to the outer man, and I will not
refuse any blessing God sends, but it is not
godliness nor is it the sign of any
spiritual attribute, grace, or power. The
greatest blessing God can give you is the mind of Christ and the nature of the
Father! The sons of God are not
measured by what they have, but by what
is a sad fact that the vast majority of busy, Laodicean Christians today have
positively no understanding of what the
Father is doing. While they
sing and clap hands, dance and play with their gifts, and earnestly talk about
the rapture and the far-away heaven of golden streets and mansions, where they
will strum harps and shout throughout endless ages, they know nothing of God’s
will, nor of His word, nor of His ways, nor of His wonderful plan of the ages,
nor or His great purpose in His sons and the restitution of the world and all
creation. While they delight in
propagating the grievous deception that the Lord wants nothing but prosperity
for His saints, that they should seek and have the best of everything this
world has to offer, together with the complete absence of problems, trouble,
or tribulation of any kind, bringing God’s people into bondage to the world
and its transient and empty glory, thus hindering the development of many a
saint — they know nothing of humility, brokenness, suffering, stripping,
chastisement, purging, cleansing, refining, processing, and the resultant
transformation and conformation into the image of the Son of God.
know nothing of sonship! They know
nothing of the groaning creation, and its hope of deliverance from the bondage
of corruption! They know nothing of
the Father’s great and wonderful plan in bringing many sons to glory!
They know nothing of reigning with Christ upon His throne in the heavens
of God’s Spirit! They know
nothing of the heavenly mount Zion to which we are come, and where we now
commune with our Father! They know
nothing of the spiritual blessings in the
heavenlies in Christ Jesus! They
know nothing of God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world by
saints who have His mind, know
His ways, and are acquainted with those purposes which were ordained in
Christ our Lord before the world began and before the spirit of life was
breathed into the clay we call Adam. They
are having a hallelujah big time with their spiritual toys, completely oblivious
to the great and important issues that really matter in this new and greater day
of the kingdom of God upon earth. One
of the sure marks of maturity is the ability to UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON!
who pursue the riches of this world and all earthly things as the sign of
God’s blessing and favor will awaken in the day of the manifestation of the
sons of God with the same sense of emptiness and loss as the young man in a
story I read. There was this girl
who was very ugly — her face was her misfortune — and since she wanted to
marry, she found that she must fascinate. She
gave out that her father was very wealthy.
A young fish bit at the bait. He
took her out for a Sunday afternoon lunch and drive.
As they drove across town she pointed to a large office building and
said, “That belongs to my father.” “Indeed,”
said the fish, swallowing. “And
that,” again she waved her fair hand toward a large department store, “that
too belongs to my father.” Again
the fish gulped. “And this,”
she indicated, as they passed a huge factory, “this is also the property of my
father.” This was almost too good
to be true. The carp shut his eyes
and popped the question. He was
quickly landed; they were married; and then, as often happens, he woke up!
Her face was not only her misfortune, it was her sole fortune!
Those whose god is the riches of this world will likewise awaken
in the day of the manifestation of the
sons of God to discover that the ashes of all temporal things are the sum of
their investment and the substance of their inheritance — their sole fortune!
That’s all they get! What
unutterable loss! All the wealth of
this earth is for those who belong to this earth, but if your treasures are in
the heavens of God’s Spirit then set not your affections on things on the
earth, but seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right
hand of God!
God gives durable riches! True
riches don’t start with possessions — true riches begin in the heart.
There are precious saints who don’t have one copper penny to rub
against another, but they are people possessing great and eternal wealth within
themselves. They are rich in faith,
love, wisdom, revelation, patience, righteousness, joy, peace, contentment,
goodness, kindness, mercy, prayer, intercession, worship,
discernment, and life. The
true riches are set forth by the Holy Spirit throughout the scriptures.
They are called the “riches of His grace,” the “riches of His
glory,” the “riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God,” the “riches of
the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” the “unsearchable riches of
Christ,” and many other wonderful titles.
conditions within the seven churches of Asia are the “seed-plot” for the
rest of the book of Revelation. All
that follows the messages to the churches embodies the growth and development of
those conditions, both positive and negative, and the Lord’s dealings with
them throughout the age. These
conditions existed in those literal churches to whom John wrote, but they have
also existed in the whole church throughout the entire church age — only they
have grown and developed into established doctrines, time-honored traditions,
methods, movements, and great organizations with vast numbers and powerful
influence in the earth.
Here in Laodicea we find the “seed” of a deplorable spiritual
condition in which believers adopt the attitude, “We are rich and increased
with goods, and have need of nothing!” That
represents the condition of self-sufficiency, self-satisfaction,
self-righteousness, self-deception, and spiritual complacency and stagnation.
“We have it all! We have
everything we need! We now possess
all God has promised! We have the
purest doctrine! We have the most
ancient traditions! We have the
We have the apostolic New Testament order!
We have the nine gifts of the Spirit, the five-fold ministry, and
spiritual worship! We have the complete
revelation! We have the deepest
truth! We are the one hundred
and forty- four thousand! Our
little group are the sons of God! We
don’t need anything more! We have
all the answers, all the truth; no one can add anything to us — we have need
of nothing!” This, my beloved,
is a spirit.
It is the spirit of Babylon! You
will find this spirit in the Roman Catholic Church, you will find this spirit in
the Protestant denominations, you will find this spirit in the cults, and you
will find this spirit in the sonship message!
In whatever realm or on whatever level you find it, my beloved, it is
The full development of this tiny seed in the church at Laodicea finally
grows into a great whore who is also a great city called Mystery Babylon “with
whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of
the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with
gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of
abominations and filthiness of her fornication…for all nations have drunk of
the wine and the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have
committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed
rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
How much she hath glorified herself, and lived
deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her
heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow” (Rev.
Our Lord said the church would say, “We’re rich!
We’re rich! We’re
rich!” In due time the whole
church system began to build cathedrals with pillars, domes, and altars overlaid
with gold; it gathered the greatest collection of the arts, with paintings and
statues lining the corridors which are the envy of the world’s greatest
museums; it amassed fortunes of billions of dollars in real estate and
businesses of all kinds, and owns its own banks, possessing vast storehouses of
money; it is rich in political power, and is able to lobby in all quarters of
the political arena, and the politicians, because of its votes, will acquiesce;
furthermore, it has its adherents entrenched in the highest positions of the
greatest governments of the world! “We
are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing!”
But when the Lord hears it, He says, “You are poor, you are poor, you
are very poor, so poor that you are poverty stricken!
Your gold and silver is but dust of the earth, and you know not; you have
no idea what the true riches are!”
There is a truth beyond all this. Mystery
Babylon is like Israel of old who was rich
in covenants and promises, rich in the word that was brought to her, rich in
scriptures and revelations, rich in prophets and teachers who were raised up in
her midst to speak the truth under the anointings of God, rich in revivals and
movings and manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
Oh, yes! Babylon is, indeed,
a very RICH WOMAN. As a friend has
pointed out (and I am indebted to this friend for many of the thoughts in the
next couple pages), she is rich by the hand of God, and is not merely pretending
to be rich, as is seen in Hosea 2:8 where
the Lord Himself affirms that He is the source of her wealth.
Babylon is not, however, aware that He is her supply, and therein lies
her ultimate undoing, for the Lord said,. “She
did not know that I (the Lord) gave her
corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold…therefore will I
return and take away my corn in the time thereof and my vine in the season
thereof and will take away my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness, and
now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers and none shall
deliver her out of my hand.”
Babylon is a rich woman — but it is with these very riches from the
hand of God that she has prepared her own idols, having held the truth in
unrighteousness and changed those riches and truths of God into a lie.
This is what the Lord says in this passage, “She
did not know that I gave her corn (spiritual truth) and wine (joy and rejoicing)
and oil (anointing and power)…which THEY PREPARED FOR BAAL.”
Another translation renders it, “Wherewith
they prepared Baal.” The
living truth God gave has been perverted and turned into a static creed and dead
doctrine, an empty ceremony, a lifeless ritual; the joy has been orchestrated by
man into pageantry, feasting, sports, programs, and pleasures; and the anointing
by which God raised up life-giving ministries in the body of Christ has been
institutionalized into a system of man-made organization and hierarchy.
All has become a lifeless idol,
an image of man’s making,
bowed down to and worshipped in place of the living God!
Ah, they have taken what God gave and have prepared
Deceived by the very riches that were given to bring her to God, Babylon
exalts herself because of that which she possesses, saying within herself, “I
sit as a queen.” Now, I am well
aware that the highest meaning of Babylon does not mean the organized church
system but is, rather, a condition in the mind and heart of man, which means
that we have all, at one time or another, and perhaps even until now, been
partakers of her. But on the
visible plane, in its outworking by actions, it does refer to the organized
church systems of man. All that the
church system possesses was given her out of the anointing of God, imparted to
her through anointed men, through those who walked the paths of the Spirit —
and these men of bygone generations she admires!
Nothing has changed, however, since the days of Jesus when He said to the
religious leaders, “You garnish the sepulchers of the dead prophets — but
kill the living ones!”
The anointed Word has been set in concrete in the church system, and like
the rephaim — the physicians of no
value who embalmed Israel (Gen. 50:2)
— so has the church system EMBALMED THE CHRIST — fixed Him in a static
position so that He can move no further.
Holding the very form of truth,
the church system denies the essence and life of that truth…and yet boasts
of her wealth! But the Lord
says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich
and increased with goods (doctrines and forms and ritual and eschatology charts)
and have need of nothing (not even the anointing) and knowest
not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and
naked…” Because of all this,
“I will spew you out of my mouth!”
Let me reiterate again, it is important to realize that her confession is
not made of a lie: it is based on truth. She
is not pretending to be rich — she is
rich — rich in covenants and promises, rich in oil and wine, rich in doctrines
about Christ and salvation, rich in word, rich in a history of holy men, rich in
revivals and movings of God. But
even in her wealth she is poor and wretched and naked and blind because she
holds the husks
which have long ago been emptied of the corn!
She treasures the alabaster box, little realizing that the essence has
dissipated into the air long before this time.
As prophesied in Hosea, however, because “she did not know” that
there was the need for the constant renewal of her riches, God stripped her
naked as the day she was born and has set her in a wilderness.
“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness:
and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast…and upon her forehead was a
name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:3-5). Babylon
dwells, spiritually, in an arid, parched, desert land!
There is little life there! But
God did not send her into the wilderness without first saving
the living water by pouring it into His called and chosen remnant!
Paul had this to say about God’s people of old, and the same principle
is applicable to the Lord’s people of today: “Israel hath not obtained that
which he seeketh for: BUT THE ELECTION (REMNANT) HATH OBTAINED IT, and the rest
WERE BLINDED. According as it is
written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not
see, and ears that they should not hear until this day.
And David saith, Let their table
(the table God spread for them) BE MADE A SNARE and a trap and a stumblingblock
and a recompense to them…” (Rom. 11:7-9).
The message is clear — the very
riches which the Lord’s people in Babylon received from the hand of
God becomes her downfall, for her own perverted form
of truth blinds her vision so that she cannot recognize THE ANOINTED when He
comes! Isn’t that what happened
when the firstborn Son, Christ the Head, came into the world?
Reasoning, always reasoning, from their intellectual grasp of scripture,
as to what manner of Messiah should appear, as to what God expected from men —
so that when the fulfillment of all that God required appeared in human form,
when the Son of God appeared before them in the flesh, their eyes were blinded
to Him by the very scriptures that had
promised His coming! Because
they held that truth in the unrighteousness of a carnal-minded interpretation.
How dreadful is the thought! And
yet, the Babylon of this great day will likewise not recognize the COMING OF
CHRIST AND THE REVELATION OF GOD IN HIS
A careful examination of the Greek that surrounds the passage in Romans
concerning “holding the truth in unrighteousness” reveals that it means
“to fail to come into union with that truth.”
They held the truth, all right, but they held it independently
of the Spirit! They
exercised it apart from the presence of God — and walked in their own limited
carnal understanding. Jesus said,
“Everyone that hath learned from my Father will come unto me.”
Ah, that is the key! They
had learned the truth, that is, the scriptures — but they had not learned it from
the Father, else they would have recognized and come to Jesus.
They had learned it from their
fathers, but not from THE FATHER! When
a man is taught by the Father, side by side with the teaching of doctrine, God
cripples him so that he may learn not to hold the doctrine independent from God
Himself. In fact, truth is not
really truth at all when separated from the anointing, for it is the Spirit,
John says, that beareth witness, and the Spirit
is truth — not the form of doctrine.
Doctrine spoken apart from the anointing and life of God, and spoken
apart from the inworking of that into the man, is not truth at all, though its
facts may be quite accurate. The
Spirit is truth! But the Pharisees
had no such knowledge. They walked
in the spirit of Babylon, the great whore who arose from the tiny little seed in
Laodicea, which says, “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of
nothing.” Oh, how I thank God
that He has delivered all who truly walk with Christ in His sonship from that
spirit! Thank God, a remnant is
I mentioned earlier that this spirit of “I am rich and increased with
goods, and have need of nothing” is found not only in the Babylon of the
church system, but can also be found in those who profess to walk in the truths
of reconciliation, sonship, and the kingdom.
Paul Mueller hit the nail right on the head when he wrote, “God has an
elect remnant in the earth at this time who have grown spiritually beyond the
Lord’s assessment of the Laodicean church.
They are truly and sincerely living and doing only and always the pure
and perfect will of their Father in heaven.
But it appears that many others, who claim to be sons of God, continue to
live and walk in the old order of the past.
They are all the Lord said they were in this passage.
They are lukewarm, spiritually speaking, regarding the will and purpose
of their Father. They will also
speak in glowing terms, telling us of all the spiritual gifts they have within
themselves. Their testimony really
am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.’
“Some claim to have great spiritual riches and treasures within them.
Their boastings are abundant and constant; it is as if some of
them are trying to outdo the others in making their empty claims.
Truly the name-it-and-claim-it crowd is alive and active today!
I have heard some of them say, ‘I am walking and living in
Tabernacles!’ But their lives
reveal the truth that they are really walking and living in the old order of
Pentecost, for they continue to do all the old things of the past that pertain
to the obsolete church order. Others
might tell us that they are living and walking in the kingdom; yet they still
manifest and show forth the impure traits of their bodies and minds.
Some may say that they have all the fullness of God within them, or that
God’s work within them is finished, and they have need of nothing more.
But are they not all saying, ‘I
am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,’ just as
our Lord said they would?” —
“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” (Rev. 3:17-18).
“Buy of me gold” means to pay
the price for the divine nature of our Father to be brought forth in our
lives! “Tried in the fire”
means that His nature has become an experiential reality within us.
It speaks of an intimate, direct encounter with God that causes all that
is contrary to His nature to be consumed by the all-consuming fire of His
Spirit, resulting in our spiritual growth and maturity in Christ.
Our Lord has called upon His elect to buy of Him this gold tried in the
fire, that we may be rich!
Now we know what the true
riches are! The riches of which
He speaks are not the riches of the world, either of money, material things, or
of stature, position, fame, or self-glory.
The riches of this world corrupt the spiritual man and prevent a
manifestation of the true Life of God. The
gold that we are to buy of Him represents a life that has been tried and tested,
even as gold is refined, to bring forth the qualities of the Christ life within
all who are His called and chosen ones.
The gold of which our Lord speaks is symbolic of the divine nature and
the divine life of those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The gold of the realm of the Spirit represents the spiritual riches of
the saints, for Christ said that we should buy this gold tried in the fire,
“that thou mayest be rich.”
Therefore gold represents our true wealth!
Jesus pointed out to the multitude gathered at His teaching, “A man’s
life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth” (Lk.
12:15). The gold of the realm of
the Spirit is the true riches! The
man who lives and walks in the attributes of God is a rich man indeed!
and Elaine Cook published a dream that the Lord had given to Martin Paulet.
He wrote, “I looked and I saw something coming down from heaven.
The Lord said he was giving this to me.
It appeared to be a
large block of gold coming down to me.
The size was seven by five feet by three feet high.
As it came down, I discovered it shone like it had light in it.
It reminded me of the transparent gold, ‘…and the street of the city
was pure gold, as it were transparent
glass’ (Rev. 21:21). It was
impressed upon me that this was very
valuable, so I chipped off a piece about one inch by one inch by ¼ inch,
and called some jewelers together for an evaluation.
The jewelers offered me a million dollars for this small chip of gold.
I replied, ‘Oh, that’s not enough,’ for I knew the value was
greater than that. They then
offered me ten million for it and I
went home without selling it and knowing the true worth.
As I pondered this before the Lord, He made me to know the
gold block He was giving me was none other than His nature.
This is such a valuable thing He is giving us.
It is more precious than gold!
His nature in us is more valuable than all the gifts and miracles He has
given us. It is greater than any
gift He has ever given us!”
— end quote.
Speaking of the day when He would bring His kingdom and show forth His
glory in the earth the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, “I
will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a MAN than the golden wedge
of Ophir” (Isa. 13:12). The
MAN the prophet speaks of is God’s Christ, Head and body, the new
creation man in the image and likeness of God!
A man is growing to maturity in this day; it is the manchild company, the
sons of God, or the body of Christ. This
corporate man will be made more precious than fine gold by the Lord Himself, for
He dwells within them in all the fullness of His divine life and glory.
The reference to the “golden wedge of Ophir” is to the source of the
finest gold available in that day, which was the gold of Ophir.
From the mines of the land of Ophir in Arabia the Israelites obtained the
most precious and highly refined gold in the days of Solomon.
This gold was for the temple of God!
The temple of God today is a living temple of living
stones, raised up a spiritual house,
the dwelling place of God from which He rules in kingdom authority and ministers
to creation through His king-priests after the order of Melchizedek.
The temple of God is the same as the body of Christ, the sons of God, the
MAN who is made
more precious than fine gold! When
the Lord completely delivers us from the old fleshly nature of sin and mortality
we shall then fully become that MAN
that is more precious than the finest gold of Ophir.
That MAN, totally delivered from the bondage of corruption, shall then be
the deliverer of creation! He shall
show forth the spirit and power of reconciliation, restoration, and
transformation to all mankind, bringing deliverance to the whole, groaning
Even as gold is purified by fire, so are we purified by the fiery trials
the Lord sends into our lives. Like
the intense heat that causes the impurities to rise to the top of the molten
gold, so the many tribulations we face in life, and the blazing fire of God’s
dealings that accompany them, draw from us those things that pollute the pure
nature of God within our spirit. One
pass through the furnace is never sufficient to remove all the impurities in
gold, neither can we become pure in one season of testing.
God allows us to be tested and tried by the Holy Ghost and fire for
however long it takes because He wants us to be pure vessels to manifest His
glory. Those who hunger and thirst
for Him will not be devastated by this fire, but purified.
They are those who heed the apostle Paul’s warning to examine the
materials with which we are building as the temple of God is raised up within
us, for “every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare
it, because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (I Cor. 3:13).
Gold fully tried in the fire is pure
gold. The gold of the
tabernacle in the wilderness was required by the Lord to be pure
gold. The gold in Solomon’s
temple was also pure gold.
The gold of the New Jerusalem is likewise described as pure
gold (Rev. 21:18,21). That is
what God is after! To be “pure”
means to be “unmixed, single, free of anything that adulterates or taints;
containing nothing but its own reality.”
Pure water is water without
any contaminants; pure air is air
free from any pollutants; pure
gold is refined until it contains no tinge of alloy, no trace of impurities, no
residue of dross. Under the law of
Moses people were not permitted to wear garments of wool mingled with linen.
Not that there is wrong in either one, but the
type is meaningful, for wool is derived from animals while linen comes from
a plant. They were not to plow with
an ox and an ass in the same yoke, for an ox is a clean
animal, but an ass is unclean.
God was showing that there are things that are not to be mixed!
Flesh must not be mixed with spirit.
Truth must not be mixed with error.
Righteousness must not be mixed with unrighteousness.
The will of our Father must not be mixed with the will of man.
The activities of the people of God must not be mixed with the
methods and ways of the world and of Mystery Babylon.
The ministry of the Outer Court and the Holy Place must not be mixed with
the ministry of the Holiest of all! Purity
of heart means that the old Adamic heart is put off; the old religious heart is
put off as well! There is
singleness of vision, purpose, hope, and motive; the mind of Christ which is the
nature of the Father is its only reality. This
is what sonship is all about!
The Lord has promised to purge, refine, and remove all
mixture from the lives of those who become His kingdom of priests, called
and chosen to restore creation unto God. The
word is sure, “The Lord…shall suddenly come to His temple…and He shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver:
and He shall purify the sons of Levi (His priesthood), and purge them as gold
and silver…” (Mal. 3:1-3).
In this wonderful process of refining the miner
first mines the ore out of the darkest depth.
The miner has it in his mind that he will go after the ore.
Now, it’s not easy to obtain the ore.
The ore is in inaccessible places, and it requires great effort
and endeavor for the miner to obtain the precious ore.
The refiner then goes after the ore.
The ore doesn't go after the refiner!
I have never heard of an ore searching for a refiner!
You never will. It’s the
refiner who goes after the ore. Someone
says, “I sought the Lord.” Well,
that’s how it appeared to you, my friend, but the truth of the matter is the
Lord sought you! He sought you in
the darkest depths of the flesh and
the bestial system of this world, and He brought you forth and made you His.
It was HE who did it!
The ore is now the property of the miner who mined it, but the mixture is
there. Both gold and silver are
found in nature, but not in their pure form.
They come mixed with, or imbedded in, various kinds of rock, minerals,
and metals. No jeweler would want
to work with natural gold with bits of rock or sand in it.
Nor could such impure stuff be beaten into thin sheets.
And no one likes a ring that turns their finger green!
No, silver and gold as they are found in nature do not have, in
themselves, much usefulness. They
must first be separated from all the impurities that naturally accompany them.
And the process for doing that is called refining.
Our lives, dear ones, are like that!
We are spirit, soul, and body — and within our spirit, which is the
offspring of God, there is so much that is worthwhile in us, but in our outer
life of the flesh and the carnal mind there is so much that is worthless.
There is so much that is of God, and so much that is of self.
There is part of us that is out of heaven, and part of us is of the
So what does the great and eternal Miner have on His hands?
He has a mixture! And that
is why there has to be a furnace of fire. The
ore which we are, in that mixed, raw, unrefined state, brings no pleasure at all
to the Refiner, nor does it fulfill any useful purpose in His plans.
Of these He says, “With them I am not well pleased.”
Our Father in His sovereign purpose sees us, but He cannot use all that
He sees. The ore is wonderful
relative to its pure precious metal content, but it is disgusting relative to
the impurities that are mingled
therein. He is unable to use us in
that condition of mixture, so He comes to us as a refiner’s fire.
And immediately we wonder what is happening!
What is happening is that HE is appearing, and I might add, He is
showing up in a form that we did not expect.
Yes, ‘tis the same Jesus, the lovely Saviour who so graciously saved us
by His grace, dug us out of the darkness and depth of the earth, but He comes
now, not to forgive and bless and coddle and wink at our carnality, but He comes
as a refining fire, to purify the sons of Levi.
He comes now because He has a great
purpose for us!
Lord, when He comes to His temple of living stones and purges the sons of Levi,
or His kingly priesthood, He first of all purges out one
man — old Adam! He comes to
cleanse us from the carnal, Adamic mind, nature, and ways.
He comes as a consuming fire to burn out of us all that is contrary to
the righteousness and wisdom and purposes of the Lord.
He is coming to each one of us in this new day of the kingdom of God and
is purging the old fleshly nature and worldly ways out of us.
On a corporate level He is also coming to those who have received the
call to sonship and is separating out all who talk
the kingdom but do not walk the
kingdom. Only the ones who have
completely surrendered to His will, and have walked in His ways, and have obeyed
each sound of His voice, who have clean hands and pure hearts, will remain to
reign with Him.
How can anyone be placed in a position of authority and power in the
kingdom who has not come to the place of exhibiting only His nature?
He will purge the sons of Levi, the kings and priests of His kingdom,
disqualifying those He cannot trust to do His will and cooperate completely in
the administration of His kingdom. The
ways of Babylon and all the soul-possessing demands of the insipid church
systems must be purged, the attributes of the carnal mind must be cleansed, all
self-hood must be burned out, and all desire to make a name for ourselves and to
gather men around ourselves rather than to Christ must be consumed.
Thank God, HE IS DOING IT!
Ray Prinzing has written, “Kenneth Wuest, in his translation, calls the
fiery trial ‘the smelting process.’ A
fiery ordeal, a smelting process — why? Because
it will both purify us, as well as reveal what degree of quality has been
attained therein. We become so
involved with the exterior happenings of the trial, how our flesh hurts, etc.,
that we forget the actual purpose is for the inner
processing, until we are of a pure
spirit before Him. When
suddenly we become aware of ‘what spirit we are of’ in some of these
happenings, it sends us back to our knees in repentance and beseeching God to
purge out these unholy traits. HE
already knows what is in us, but the fires certainly expose us to ourselves!
Sometimes we bow low in praise because we see what He has wrought, and
are amazed at our own reaction to a situation — of the calm, the peace, the
rest we have in it all. Then we
also have those other times when the agitation of our spirit reveals that there
are vast areas within that still need to be dealt with, purified and cleansed,
until ‘ALL that is within me (can) bless His holy name’ (Ps. 103:1).
Yet in all this working, praise God, we find in Him NO CONDEMNATION —
just that continual drawing upward and onward, being assured that HE who hath
begun in us this good work, will also bring it to a successful conclusion in His
own time” — end quote.
What a word!
“He shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver…” He
— this is a process that requires time, this is something that is important to
Him, something He must patiently sit and preoccupy Himself with, not a work to
be rushed or accomplished in one grand sweep of His hand.
To us it becomes very monotonous, for it seems the process will never
end. He SITS!
From the moment you were sovereignly apprehended by the Spirit of God to
be a part of His specific workings in this new kingdom day, the Lord Jesus
Christ has been obsessively preoccupied with purifying and refining what you are
as His kingdom instrument in the earth. He
examines the ore, ugly, shapeless, not representative at all of that beautiful
vessel He has in mind; but there it is, just a hunk of jagged, dirty ore, with
too much alloy. He moves to change
that, and under the crucible you go!
How long will this continue? I
would like to promise you some respite, but I dare not.
The inspired Psalmist declared, “The words of the Lord are pure
words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, PURIFIED SEVEN TIMES” (Ps.
12:6). Seven is the number of
spiritual completion and perfection. It
reveals the great truth that God’s own nature will be produced in the fire.
He will heat up the furnace until you have been perfectly cleansed and
purified, nothing remaining but HIMSELF. That
which the Lord is receiving unto Himself cannot be of an inferior quality to
Himself. The gold — ah, it is
HIM! That is the value of your spirit,
my beloved! How marvelous is the
grace by which He has birthed us out of His own Spirit — making us
“partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4).
It is like the grades in school, the farther along you go the harder the
In olden times, the refiner of gold and silver would sit over the burning
crucible until the dross and impurities in these metals were completely
consumed. Not until he could see
his face mirrored in the molten metals did he declare them to be pure.
So too with the Lord’s called and chosen elect!
The Holy Spirit brings to light and deals with every aspect of our lives,
consuming all that is alien and opposed to God’s nature and character, until
the image of His Son Jesus is formed and mirrored in us.
Only then will we be able to offer Him those offerings and render Him
that service which is pleasing and acceptable in His sight.
The Lord never removes or destroys something without replacing it with
something better. The better, in
this case, is THE PRICELESS VALUE OF THE GOLD ONCE IT IS TRIED IN THE FIRE!
In the fires of our affliction,
predestined for our good,
We can see the fourth man walking,
now a son of God.
Lest our souls fall in that furnace,
consumed by sorrow sore,
He has sent the Holy Spirit,
deliverance to insure.
He knows what will purify us,
way, has gone before,
And He planned this fiery furnace,
end — but as the DOOR.
For our body, soul, and spirit,
substance to refine,
From these fiery trials and sorrows,
emerge, with glory shine.
Not a golden, evil image,
heathen king did mold,
But a precious Holy Image,
reflected son of God.
So wait my soul, wait on His workings,
Wait my body, for the changing,
In the ages yet unrolling,
still His glories share,
For the plan of God is ceaseless,
salvation making bare.
Mortal minds cannot receive it,
supernal plan so great,
One that covers all the ages,
sin, and fear, and hate.
So we give Him all the glory,
fiery trials now,
Will present us in His likeness,
well, that He allows.
J. PRESTON EBY
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