SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 3

1 (2 Corinthians 4:7; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21; 3:8). Faithful Stewards Over Ourselves—[Revelation 3:1 quoted.] God calls upon this church to make a change. They had a name to live, but their works were destitute of the love of Jesus. Oh, how many have fallen because they trusted in their profession for salvation! How many are lost by their effort to keep up a name! If one has the reputation of being a successful evangelist, a gifted preacher, a man of prayer, a man of faith, a man of special devotion, there is positive danger that he will make shipwreck of faith when tried by the little tests that God suffers to come. Often his great effort will be to maintain his reputation. 7BC 958.3

He who lives in the fear that others do not appreciate his value is losing sight of Him who alone makes us worthy of glorifying God. Let us be faithful stewards over ourselves. Let us look away from self to Christ. Then there will be no trouble at all. All the work done, however excellent it may appear to be, is worthless if not done in the love of Jesus. One may go through the whole round of religious activity, and yet, unless Christ is woven into all that he says and does, he will work for his own glory (Letter 48, 1903). 7BC 958.4

1-3. Remember How Thou Hast Received—A warning is given of a time when errors would come in as a thief to steal away the faith of God's people, when they must watch diligently and be constantly guarded against the delusions of the enemy. 7BC 958.5

In Sardis many had been converted through the preaching of the apostles. The truth had been received as a bright and shining light. But some had forgotten the wonderful manner in which they had received the truth, and Jesus found it necessary to send reproof. 7BC 958.6

One after another of the old standardbearers had fallen, and some had become wearied of the oft-repeated truths. They desired a new phase of doctrine, more pleasing to many minds. They thought they needed a wonderful change, and in their spiritual blindness did not discern that their sophistries would uproot all the experiences of the past. 7BC 958.7

But the Lord Jesus could see the end from the beginning. Through John He sent them the warning, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief” (Manuscript 34, 1905). 7BC 958.8

(2 Timothy 2:23-26.) Hazards of Quibbling—[Revelation 3:1-3 quoted.] Among the people to whom this message was sent, there were those who had heard and been convinced by the preaching of John the Baptist, but who had lost the faith in which they once rejoiced. There were others who had received the truth from Christ's teaching, and who were once ardent believers, but who had lost their first love, and were without spiritual strength. They had not held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. They had a name to live, but as far as exerting a saving influence is concerned, they were dead. They had a form of godliness without the power. They quibbled about matters of no special importance, not given by the Lord as tests, till these matters became as mountains, separating them from Christ and from one another.... 7BC 958.9

“I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” With God outward show weighs nothing. The outward forms of religion, without the love of God in the soul, are utterly worthless. 7BC 958.10

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” This is our work. There are many ready to die spiritually, and the Lord calls upon us to strengthen them. God's people are to be firmly united in the bonds of Christian fellowship, and are to be strengthened in the faith by speaking often to one another about the precious truths entrusted to them. Never are they to spend their time in accusing and condemning one another (The Review and Herald, August 10, 1905). 7BC 959.1

1-4 (Hebrews 4:13). Weighing the Character—[Revelation 3:1-3 quoted.] The discrimination revealed by Christ in weighing the characters of those who have taken to themselves His name, as Christians, leads us to realize more fully that every individual is under His supervision. He is acquainted with the thoughts and intents of the heart, as well as with every word and act. He knows all about our religious experience; He knows whom we love and serve (Manuscript 81, 1900). 7BC 959.2

1-5 (Matthew 22:14). A Few Faithful Ones in Sardis—The church of Sardis is represented as having in it a few faithful ones among the many who had become, as it were, careless and insensible of their obligations to God. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Who is so favored as to be numbered among these few in Sardis? Are you? Am I? Who are among this number? Is it not best for us to inquire into this matter, in order that we may learn to whom the Lord refers when He says that a few have not stained their white robes of character (Manuscript 81, 1900)? 7BC 959.3

(Vs. 14-18.) Read the Third Chapter of Revelation—In the message to the church at Sardis two parties are presented—those who have a name to live, but are dead; and those who are striving to overcome. Study this message, found in the third chapter of Revelation. [Revelation 3:1, 2 quoted.] Who are meant by those that are ready to die? and what has made them thus? The explanation is given, “I have not found thy works perfect before God.” [Vs. 3-5 quoted.] 7BC 959.4

To the church of the present day this message is sent. I call upon our church members to read the whole of the third chapter of Revelation, and to make an application of it. The message to the church of the Laodiceans applies especially to the people of God today. It is a message to professing Christians who have become so much like the world that no difference can be seen [vs. 14-18 quoted] (The Review and Herald, August 20, 1903). 7BC 959.5

3 (Hebrews 3:6; 4:14; 10:23). Hold Fast to the Pledge—“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent,” Those who have been born again remember with what joy and gladness they received the light of heaven, and how eager they were to tell everybody of their happiness.... 7BC 959.6

“Hold fast.” This does not mean, Hold fast to your sins; but, Hold fast to the comfort, the faith, the hope, that God has given you in His Word. Never be discouraged. A discouraged man can do nothing. Satan is seeking to discourage you, telling you it is of no use to serve God, that it does not pay, and that it is just as well to have pleasure and enjoyment in this world. But “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” You may have worldly pleasure at the expense of the future world; but can you afford to pay such a price? 7BC 959.7

We are to “hold fast” and live up to all the light we receive from heaven. Why? Because God wants us to grasp the eternal truth, and act as His helping hand by communicating the light to those who are not acquainted with His love for them. When you gave yourself to Christ, you made a pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—the three great personal Dignitaries of heaven. “Hold fast” to this pledge. 7BC 959.8

“And repent.” The life we live is to be one of continual repentance and humility. We need to repent constantly, that we may be constantly victorious. When we have true humility, we have victory. The enemy never can take out of the hand of Christ the one who is simply trusting in His promises. If the soul is trusting and working obediently, the mind is susceptible to divine impressions, and the light of God shines in, enlightening the understanding. What privileges we have in Christ Jesus! 7BC 959.9

A true sense of repentance before God does not hold us in bondage, causing us to feel like persons in a funeral procession. We are to be cheerful, not sorrowful. But all the time we are to be sorry that after Christ had given His precious life for us, we gave so many years of our life to the powers of darkness. We are to feel sorrow of heart as we remember that after Christ had given His all for our redemption, we used in the service of the enemy some of the time and capabilities which the Lord entrusted to us as talents to use to His name's glory. We are to repent because we have not endeavored in every way possible to become acquainted with the precious truth, which enables us to exercise that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. 7BC 960.1

As we see souls out of Christ, we are to put ourselves in their place, and in their behalf feel repentance before God, resting not until we bring them to repentance. If we do everything we can for them, and yet they do not repent, the sin lies at their door; but we are still to feel sorrow of heart because of their condition, showing them how to repent, and trying to lead them step by step to Jesus Christ (Manuscript 92, 1901). 7BC 960.2

4. See EGW on ch. 19:7-9; Hebrews 2:14-18. 7BC 960.3

4, 5 (Luke 12:8). True and Loyal and Faithful—[Revelation 3:4, 5 quoted.] This is the reward to be given to those who have obtained a pure and spotless character, who before the world have held fast to the faith. Jesus Christ will confess their names before the Father and before His angels. They have been true and loyal and faithful. Through evil report as well as good report they have practiced and taught the truth (Manuscript 26, 1905). 7BC 960.4

(2 Corinthians 4:17, 18.) An Eternal Weight of Glory—“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Because of their faith this honor is bestowed on them. In this life they did not boast, nor lift up their souls unto vanity. With intensity of desire, with a pure, holy faith, they grasped the promise of eternal riches. Their one desire was to be like Christ. Ever they kept the standard of righteousness uplifted. To them is given an eternal weight of glory, because on the earth they walked with God, keeping themselves unspotted from the world, revealing to their fellow beings the righteousness of Christ. Of them the Saviour declares, “They shall walk with me in white, in the world that I have prepared for them” [Revelation 3:5 quoted] (The Review and Herald, August 10, 1905). 7BC 960.5

4, 5, 10 (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13). The Promise of Victory—[Revelation 3:4, 5 quoted.] These words are given for the people while they are in connection with the world, subject to temptations and influences which are deceiving and deluding. While they stay their mind upon Him who is their sun and their shield, the blackness and darkness that surround them will not leave one spot or stain upon their garments. They will walk with Christ. They will pray and believe and work to save the souls that are ready to perish. These are trying to break the bands that Satan has fastened upon them, and they will not be put to shame if by faith they will make Christ their companion. Temptations and deceptions will be constantly brought up by the great deceiver to spoil the work of the human agent, but if he trusts in God, if he is humble and meek and lowly of heart, keeping the way of the Lord, heaven will rejoice, for he will gain the victory. God says, “He shall walk with Me in white, with unsullied garments, for he is worthy” (Manuscript 97, 1898). 7BC 960.6

5 (ch. 13:8; see EGW on chs. 7:9; 20:12-15). Angels Weighing Moral Worth—Christ says of the overcomer, “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.” The names of all those who have once given themselves to God are written in the book of life, and their characters are now passing in review before Him. Angels of God are weighing moral worth. They are watching the development of character in those now living, to see if their names can be retained in the book of life. A probation is granted us in which to wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Who is doing this work? Who is separating from himself sin and selfishness (Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 138)? 7BC 960.7

6, 13, 22. See EGW on ch. 2:7, 11, 17, 29. 7BC 960.8

8. An Open Door—The true Witness declares: “Behold, I have set before thee an open door.” Let us thank God with heart and soul and voice; and let us learn to approach unto Him as through an open door, believing that we may come freely with our petitions, and that He will hear and answer. It is by a living faith in His power to help, that we shall receive strength to fight the battles of the Lord with the confident assurance of victory (The Review and Herald, July 9, 1908). 7BC 960.9

(Hebrews 10:19, 20.) The Door of Communication—The true Witness has given us the assurance that He has set before us an open door, which no man can shut. Those who are seeking to be faithful to God may be denied many of the privileges of the world; their way may be hedged up and their work hindered by the enemies of truth; but there is no power that can close the door of communication between God and their souls. The Christian himself may close this door by indulgence in sin, or by rejection of heaven's light. He may turn away his ears from hearing the message of truth, and in this way sever the connection between God and his soul.... Neither man nor Satan can close the door which Christ has opened for us (The Review and Herald, March 26, 1889). 7BC 961.1

Light From the Threshold of Heaven—[Revelation 3:8, 9 quoted.] Whenever tempted, we have this open door to behold. No power can hide from us the light of the glory which shines from the threshold of heaven along the whole length of the ladder we are to climb; for the Lord has given us strength in His strength, courage in His courage, light in His light. When the powers of darkness are overcome, when the light of the glory of God floods the world, we shall see and understand more clearly than we do today. If we only realized that the glory of God is round about us, that heaven is nearer earth than we suppose, we should have a heaven in our homes while preparing for the heaven above (Manuscript 92, 1901). 7BC 961.2

14-18 (see EGW on vs. 1-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Our Condition Revealed—The message to the Laodicean church reveals our condition as a people (The Review and Herald, December 15, 1904). 7BC 961.3

Message for the Idlers in the Vineyard—To the idlers in the Lord's vineyard the Laodicean message is sent (Manuscript 26, 1905). 7BC 961.4

(Romans 2:17-24.) Application of Laodicean Message—The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to all who have had great light and many opportunities, and yet have not appreciated them (The Review and Herald, March 11, 1902). 7BC 961.5

(Ch. 2:4, 5.) Fervor of Love Lacking—The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to our condition. How plainly is pictured the position of those who think they have all the truth, who take pride in their knowledge of the Word of God, while its sanctifying power has not been felt in their lives. The fervor of the love of God is wanting in their hearts, but it is this very fervor of love that makes God's people the light of the world (The Review and Herald, July 23, 1889). 7BC 961.6

Laodicean Message for Adventists—The message to the Laodicean church is highly applicable to us as a people. It has been placed before us for a long time, but has not been heeded as it should have been. When the work of repentance is earnest and deep, the individual members of the church will buy the rich goods of heaven. [Revelation 3:18 quoted.] Oh, how many behold things in a perverted light, in the light in which Satan would have them see. 7BC 961.7

You may manifest great zeal in missionary effort, and yet because it is corrupted with selfishness, and tastes strongly of self, it is nought in the sight of God; for it is a tainted, corrupted offering. Unless the door of the heart is open to Jesus, unless He occupies the soul temple, unless the heart is imbued with His divine attributes, human actions when weighed in the heavenly balances, will be pronounced “Wanting.” The love of Christ would make you rich; but many do not realize the value of His love. Many do not realize that the spirit which they cherish is destitute of the meekness and lowliness of Christ, destitute of the love that would constitute them channels of light (Manuscript 33, 1894). 7BC 961.8

(2 Peter 3:11.) Has God Made a Mistake?—The Laodicean message is applicable to the church at this time. Do you believe this message? Have you hearts that feel? Or are you constantly saying, We are rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing? Is it in vain that the declaration of eternal truth has been given to this nation to be carried to all the nations of the world? God has chosen a people and made them the repositories of truth weighty with eternal results. To them has been given the light that must illuminate the world. Has God made a mistake? Are we indeed His chosen instrumentalities? Are we the men and women who are to bear to the world the messages of Revelation fourteen, to proclaim the message of salvation to those who are standing on the brink of ruin? Do we act as if we were (Manuscript 51, 1901)? 7BC 961.9

Professors but Not Doers—The Laodicean message applies to all who profess to keep the law of God, and yet are not doers of it. We are not to be selfish in anything. Every phase of the Christian life is to be a representation of the life of Christ. If it is not, we shall hear the terrible words, “I know you not” (The Review and Herald, October 17, 1899). 7BC 962.1

An Insipid Religious Experience—The message to the Laodicean church applies most decidedly to those whose religious experience is insipid, who do not bear decided witness in favor of the truth (Letter 98, 1901). 7BC 962.2

(Isaiah 65:5; Luke 18:11, 12.) “Hear, O Hear.”—I tell you in the name of the Lord, that those who have had great light are today in the state described by Christ in His message to the Laodicean church. They think that they are rich, and increased in goods, and feel that they have need of nothing. Christ speaks to you. Hear, O hear, if you have any regard for your souls, the words of the great Counselor, and act upon them [Revelation 3:18 quoted] (Letter 5, 1897). 7BC 962.3

To Rid the Church of Fanaticism—The design of the message to the Laodiceans was to rid the church of ... fanatical influences; but the effort of Satan has been to corrupt the message, and destroy its influence. He would be better pleased to have fanatical persons embrace the testimony, and use it in his cause, than to have them remain in a lukewarm state. I have seen that it was not the design of the message to lead brother to sit in judgment over his brother, to tell him what to do, and just how far to go, but for each individual to search his own heart, and attend to his own individual work (Spiritual Gifts 2:223). 7BC 962.4

Bankrupt!—Many are Laodiceans, living in a spiritual self-deception. They clothe themselves in the garments of their own righteousness, imagining themselves to be rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, when they need daily to learn of Jesus, His meekness and lowliness, else they find themselves bankrupt, their whole life being a lie (Letter 66, 1894). 7BC 962.5

Self-inflated Religion—Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. The love of Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, the love for those for whom Christ has died will degenerate. There may be a wonderful appearance for zeal and ceremonies, but this is the substance of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them as nauseating to His taste [Revelation 3:17, 18 quoted] (Manuscript 61, 1898). 7BC 962.6

(Proverbs 30:12; Obadiah 3.) Self-exaltation a Dangerous Element—Self-exaltation is a dangerous element. It tarnishes everything it touches. It is the offspring of pride, and it works so ingeniously that, unless guarded against, it will take possession of the thoughts and control the actions. 7BC 962.7

The Laodicean message must be proclaimed with power; for now it is especially applicable. Now, more than ever before, are seen pride, worldly ambition, self-exaltation, double-dealing, hypocrisy, and deception. Many are speaking great swelling words of vanity, saying, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” Yet they are miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (The Review and Herald, September 25, 1900). 7BC 962.8

(Ecclesiastes 10:1; Matthew 7:1-5.) Self-love, Self-deception, and Self-justification—Those whom Christ warns have some excellent qualifications, but they are neutralized by all who have a diseased self-love, self-deception, self-justification for gross neglect to help brethren in the service of God by encouraging words and deeds. There is a dead fly in the ointment. They are being weighed by One who never makes a mistake. He tells the result of actions which demonstrate that the love of Christ is not an abiding principle in the soul. God calls upon you all to learn from Christ His meekness. Put away your faculty for seeing the mistakes of others. Turn your attention to your own defects. Your self-righteousness is nauseating to the Lord Jesus Christ. [Revelation 3:15-18 quoted.] These words apply to the churches and to many of those in positions of trust in the work of God (Manuscript 108, 1899). 7BC 962.9

Spiritual Novices—There are a large number of professing Christians who do not really follow Jesus. They do not bear the cross by proper self-denial and self-sacrifice. Although making a great profession of being earnest Christians, they weave into the fabric of their character so many of the threads of their own imperfections that the beautiful pattern is spoiled. Of them Christ says: “You boast of being rich and increased with supposed spiritual attainments. In reality you are neither cold nor hot, but are filled with vain conceit. Unless converted, you cannot be saved; for you would mar heaven with your unsanctified wisdom. I cannot endorse your spirit and your work. You do not act according to the divine Example. You are following a pattern merely of your own invention. Because you are lukewarm, I must spew you out of My mouth.” 7BC 963.1

Let us thank the Lord that while this class is so numerous, there is still time for repentance. Jesus says, “I, your Redeemer, know your works. I am familiar with the motives that prompt you to declare boastingly in regard to your spiritual condition, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.’ Thou ‘knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’” 7BC 963.2

Those who are in this condition are willfully ignorant. They do not discern the real character of sin. By their wrongdoing they constantly misrepresent the character of Christ and put Him to open shame. Professing to have a knowledge of the truth, they act in spirit as novices. They do not seem to understand the truth that must be expressed in word and deed to show a decided difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. They are false claimants of every Christian blessing and privilege, when, as Christ's representatives, they are not rich in spiritual grace or in good works. They are wretched, poor, blind, maimed. What a position to be in! They stand in their own light. 7BC 963.3

But notwithstanding their willful ignorance, they are not left by the Lord without added warning and counsel (Manuscript 138, 1902). 7BC 963.4

15. The Mount of Vision—If every man who has influence could ascend some mount of vision from which he could behold all his works as Christ beholds them when He declares, “I know thy works”; if the laborer could trace from cause to effect every objectionable word and act, the sight would be more than he could bear (Manuscript 128, 1903). 7BC 963.5

15, 16 (Matthew 6:22-24). Worse Than Infidels—Halfhearted Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian. Satan uses him to do a work that no one else can do (Letter 44, 1903). 7BC 963.6

(Luke 13:24-30.) Fate of the Halfhearted Ones—There are those who, though professedly serving God, are witnessing against Him. To them the message to the Laodicean church is given. Christ says to them, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot.” When the avenging angel shall pass through the land, Christ cannot say of them, “Touch them not. I have graven them upon the palms of my hands.” No; of these halfhearted ones He says, “I will spew them out of my mouth. They are offensive to me” (Letter 44, 1903). 7BC 963.7

Dead in Trespasses and Sins—To those who do not practice it, the Word of God is a dead letter. Christ says of such, “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.” He cannot present their case to the Father. If they realized that they were sinners, He could plead in their behalf, and the Lord would arouse them by His Holy Spirit. But they are worse than dead in trespasses and sins. They hear the Word, but make no application of it to themselves; instead, they apply the Word spoken to their neighbors (Manuscript 163a, 1898). 7BC 963.8

15-20 (John 4:13, 14). A Fountain of Living Water—The condition of many of those who claim to be the children of God is exactly represented by the message to the Laodicean church. There is opened before those who serve God, truths of inestimable value, which, brought into the practical life, show the difference between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. 7BC 963.9

The earth itself is not more richly interlaced with veins of golden ore than is the field of revelation with veins of precious truth. The Bible is the storehouse of the unsearchable riches of God. But those who have a knowledge of the truth do not understand it as fully as they might. They do not bring the love of Christ into the heart and life. 7BC 964.1

The student of the Word finds himself bending over a fountain of living water. The church needs to drink deeply of the spirituality of the Word. Their service to God needs to be very different from the tame, lifeless, emotionless religious experience that makes many believers but little different from those who believe not, very similar in spirit to the unconverted (Manuscript 117, 1902). 7BC 964.2

15-21. Laodicean Message to Go to the World—The Laodicean message has been sounding. Take this message in all its phases and sound it forth to the people wherever Providence opens the way. Justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ are the themes to be presented to a perishing world (Letter 24, 1892). 7BC 964.3

15-22 (Colossians 4:12, 13). Labor Lost on the Church in Laodicea—[Revelation 3:15-22 quoted.] This is the testimony borne concerning the church at Laodicea. This church had been faithfully instructed. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.” 7BC 964.4

Much excellent labor was bestowed upon the Laodicean church. To them was given the exhortation, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” But the church did not follow up the work begun by God's messengers. They heard, but they failed to appropriate the truth to themselves, and to carry out the instruction given them. The result that followed is the result always sure to follow the rejection of the Lord's warnings and entreaties (Manuscript 128, 1903). 7BC 964.5

17 (Romans 11:20; 12:3, 16). Exhausting the Patience of God—Christ sees that which man does not see. He sees the sins which, if not repented of, will exhaust the patience of a long-suffering God. Christ cannot take up the names of those who are satisfied in their own self-sufficiency. He cannot importune in behalf of a people who feel no need of His help, who claim to know and possess everything (The Review and Herald, July 23, 1889). 7BC 964.6

17-20. Shall We Open the Heart's Door?—We must have the buyers and the sellers cleared out of the soul temple, that Jesus may take up His abode within us. Now He stands at the door of the heart as a heavenly merchantman; He says, “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.” “Open unto me; buy of me the heavenly wares; buy of me the gold tried in the fire.” Buy faith and love, the precious, beautiful attributes of our Redeemer, which will enable us to find our way into the hearts of those who do not know Him, who are cold and alienated from Him through unbelief and sin. He invites us to buy the white raiment, which is His glorious righteousness; and the eyesalve, that we may discern spiritual things. Oh, shall we not open the heart's door to this heavenly visitor (Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1892)? 7BC 964.7

18 (Isaiah 55:1; John 14:6). The Vendor of Priceless Treasures—The great Vendor of spiritual riches is inviting your recognition. [Revelation 3:18 quoted.] ... The Saviour comes with jewels of truth of the richest value in distinction from all counterfeits, all that is spurious. He comes to every house, to every door; He is knocking, presenting His priceless treasure, urging, “Buy of me” (Letter 66, 1894). 7BC 964.8

The Costly Wares of Heaven—The wares of heaven are offered to our churches. Every individual needs to have a decided interest in the invitation of Christ. Brethren and sisters, are your thoughts after this order? “These sharp, decided words do not mean me; I am in a fairly good condition spiritually, though I may not have all the fervor and zeal that some have. I believe the truth. Those to whom this message belongs may take it. I think some need it.” You who think and reason thus, be assured that you are the very ones to whom this message belongs. While the costly wares of heaven are open before you, draw nigh and buy that which you have lost—the gold of love and faith, and the white raiment which is the righteousness of Christ (Letter 30a, 1892). 7BC 964.9

Virtues Wanting Among Us—The gold that Jesus would have us buy of Him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eyesalve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned (The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890). 7BC 965.1

(Isaiah 64:6; Philippians 3:9.) Ample Provision for All—The true Witness has said, “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.” What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when He has made ample provision for all to receive His blessing (Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 139). 7BC 965.2

(Ch. 7:14.) Encouraging Counsel for the Church—The counsel of the true Witness is full of encouragement and comfort. The churches may yet obtain the gold of truth, faith, and love, and be rich in heavenly treasure. “Buy of me gold ... that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ that may be wrought into the character. Purity of heart, purity of motive, will characterize every one who is washing his robe, and making it white in the blood of the Lamb (The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888). 7BC 965.3

(Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4, 5.) Woven in the Loom of Heaven—There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ's righteousness (The Review and Herald, July 19, 1892). 7BC 965.4

(Matthew 6:22; James 1:23-25.) Correct Views for the Conscience—The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The “eyesalve,” the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God's great moral looking glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.... 7BC 965.5

The Laodiceans ... were not entirely blind, else the eyesalve would have done nothing to restore their sight, and enable them to discern the true attributes of Christ. Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eyesalve that you may see (The Review and Herald, November 23, 1897). 7BC 965.6

18-20. A Merchantman Laden With Riches—The great Redeemer represents Himself as a heavenly merchantman, laden with riches, calling from house to house, presenting His priceless goods [Revelation 3:18-20 quoted] (The Review and Herald, July 23, 1889). 7BC 965.7

(Job 22:21-25.) Knocking at the Heart's Door—The Lord knocks at the door of your heart, desiring to enter, that He may impart spiritual riches to your soul. He would anoint the blind eyes, that they may discover the holy character of God in His law, and understand the love of Christ, which is indeed gold tried in the fire (The Review and Herald, February 25, 1890). 7BC 965.8

(Isaiah 13:12; Matthew 13:45, 46.) Spiritual Riches for the Soul—Jesus is going from door to door, standing in front of every soul temple, proclaiming, “I stand at the door, and knock.” As a heavenly merchantman, He opens His treasures and cries, “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.” The gold that He offers is without alloy, more precious than that of Ophir; for it is faith and love. The white raiment He invites the soul to wear is His own robe of righteousness; and the oil for anointing is the oil of His grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy. “Open your doors,” says the great Merchantman, the possessor of spiritual riches, “and transact your business with Me. It is I, your Redeemer, who counsels you to buy of Me” (The Review and Herald, August 7, 1894). 7BC 965.9

18-21 (Philippians 3:12-15). The Conflict Is for Us—The true Witness presents encouragements to all who are seeking to walk in the path of humble obedience, through faith in His name. He declares, “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.” 7BC 966.1

These are the words of our Substitute and Surety. He who is the divine Head of the church, the mightiest of conquerors, would point His followers to His life, His toils, His self-denials, His struggles and sufferings, through contempt, through rejection ridicule, scorn, insult, mockery, falsehood, up the path of Calvary to the scene of the crucifixion, that they might be encouraged to press on toward the mark for the prize and reward of the overcomer. Victory is assured through faith and obedience. 7BC 966.2

Let us make an application of the words of Christ to our own individual cases. Are we poor, and blind, and wretched, and miserable? Then let us seek the gold and white raiment that He offers. The work of overcoming is not restricted to the age of the martyrs. The conflict is for us, in these days of subtle temptation to worldliness, to self-security, to indulgence of pride, covetousness, false doctrines, and immorality of life (The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888). 7BC 966.3

(Song of Solomon 6:10; Isaiah 1:16-19.) A Hope of Reform—The church must and will shine forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” God's servants must, by laboring together with Christ, roll away the curse that has made the church so lukewarm. [Revelation 3:15-19 quoted.] The chastening reveals a hope of reform [vs. 20, 21 quoted] (Letter 130, 1902). 7BC 966.4

Laodicean Call Brings Fruitage—I saw that this call to the Laodicean church will affect souls. A becoming zeal is called for by God on our part. We must repent, throw away our whole feelings, feel our destitution, buy gold that we may be rich, eyesalve that we may see, white raiment that we may be clothed (Letter 2, 1851). 7BC 966.5

(Matthew 25:1-12.) Hope for the Laodiceans—[Revelation 3:15-17 quoted.] Yet the case of those who are rebuked is not a hopeless one; it is not beyond the power of the great Mediator. He says: “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.” Though the professed followers of Christ are in a deplorable condition, they are not yet in so desperate a strait as were the foolish virgins whose lamps were going out, and there was no time in which to replenish their vessels with oil. When the bridegroom came, those that were ready went in with him to the wedding; but when the foolish virgins came, the door was shut, and they were too late to obtain an entrance. 7BC 966.6

But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb (The Review and Herald, August 28, 1894). 7BC 966.7

There is hope for our churches if they will heed the message given to the Laodiceans (Manuscript 139, 1903). 7BC 966.8

20 (ch. 22:17; Proverbs 1:23-33). Will You Squander God's Talents?—Says the true Witness, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the Word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker. If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices, the world's care and business engross the attention, and conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time, and of the great eternity beyond. 7BC 966.9

The heavenly Guest is standing at your door, while you are piling up obstructions to bar His entrance. Jesus is knocking through the prosperity He gives you. He loads you with blessings to test your fidelity, that they may flow out from you to others. Will you permit your selfishness to triumph? Will you squander God's talents, and lose your soul through idolatrous love of the blessings He has given (The Review and Herald, November 2, 1886)? 7BC 967.1

No Discouraging Message for the Church—We have no discouraging message for the church. Although reproofs and cautions and corrections have been made, yet the church has stood as God's instrumentality to diffuse light. The commandment-keeping people of God have sounded forth a warning to the world, to all languages, tongues, and kindreds. The church of God is a living witness, a continual testimony, to convince men if accepted, to condemn them if resisted and rejected (Manuscript 96, 1893). 7BC 967.2

21. See EGW on Romans 8:17; Galatians 6:7, 8; Hebrews 4:15. 7BC 967.3