The Laodicean Message
by E.H. ‘Jack’ Sequeira

Laodicea Must Repent

Revelation 3:19:

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.

I want to remind you that repentance means “a change of mind” or “a change of direction.”  If we were to describe it in modern terms, “repentance is a U-turn.”  It’s changing direction, it can be both physically or of the mind.

Now in what sense does God want us to repent?  We must always be clear and look at the context, because repentance in the Bible is always specific.  For example, when Peter preached at Pentecost, and the people said, “What shall we do?” after he told them that they had crucified the Son of God and he said, “Repent.”  It was repentance in terms of the crucifixion.

Repentance in the Bible is always specific.  We need to ask ourselves, “In what sense is Christ asking us to repent?”  And the answer is in two senses.  They are related, we need to have a change of mind in regards to verse 17, because in verse 17 we say that we are rich and increased with goods, and Christ says that we are “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”  Now we need to have a change of mind regarding that verse.  We need to admit, like Peter did after the crucifixion and resurrection, that we were wrong and Christ is right.  And that is repentance, a change of mind.

But we also need to repent in terms of verse 18, and that is in terms of direction.  We need to move away, or change, or turn around from works of the law to works of faith, from self-righteousness to Christ’s righteousness.  Now having said this, we have to realize that one of the hardest things for people to do, even Christians, is to repent from self-righteousness.  It’s one thing repenting from sins, it’s another thing to repent of self-righteousness.  Let me give you an example.

In one of the discourses that Jesus gave, He made a statement.  He said, Luke 11:32:

The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.

Did Ninevah repent?  Yes.  What did Ninevah repent of?  Of sins.  She was guilty of terrible sins.  But did the Jews repent?  No.  And Christ said it would be easier for the Ninevites than for the Jews, because their [Jews] repentance needed to be primarily from self-righteousness.  And that is very difficult.  So what I want to do is to approach this study from two angles:  I want to look at a case study and I want to look at Jesus Christ as our example.

The case study may create a problem in your minds because I’m dealing with a situation that is not the traditional interpretation.  So if you disagree with the interpretation, fine, I will not complain, but at least I hope you will get the lesson.  I would like to look at a man whose history has been recorded in the Bible, in the oldest book in the Bible.  What is the oldest book in the Bible?  Job.  It is believed that Job was written during the 40 years that Moses was in the wilderness.

So please turn to the book of Job.  I have wrestled with the book of Job for a long time.  I could not see why God allowed Job to be so badly mistreated, and to go through those terrible crises, without a purpose.  To me, the purpose of simply proving that he was righteous was not good enough.  It did not “jive” in terms of the character of God.  Then one day, I was reading The Desire of Ages, and I found a statement there — I can’t remember the reference so you’ll have to look for it — where Ellen G. White said that the history of Job reveals to us, or tells us, that all calamities come from Satan but are allowed by God for a purpose.  But she did not say what purpose it was.

So the only way for me to find out was for me to read, and study, and wrestle with the book of Job.  And I spent some time with it.  I discovered that Job had a problem.  At first it was hard for me to accept it, because it was a complete contradiction to what I had understood concerning Job, but I want to expose you to it.  You don’t have to believe it, but see the conclusion that I came to.  Turn to Job chapter one.  In the very first verse we are given a statement concerning Job.  The second half of the first verse says:

... This man [Job] was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

Then, in verse 8, the same thing is repeated, but this time in the context of God having a dialogue with Satan.  God said to Satan, “Look at my man Job.  He is perfect, he is upright, he hates evil, and he fears God”:

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

And you remember what Satan said?  “Yes, he does all this because you have built a hedge.  You remove the protection and you will see, give him into my hands and you will see what he will do.  He will deny You, he will reject you, he will turn his back on you.” Verses 9-11:

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.  “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?  You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

And so God said in verse 12a,

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

“You can have him.  All that he has is in your power.  But you can’t touch him, you can touch his possessions, you can touch what he has, but you can’t touch him, you can’t kill him.”

And so the first test comes, beginning in verse 13 and onwards, there are four calamities, verses 13-18:

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The men were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off.  They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off.  They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house.  It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

Now the four calamities that come to Job, what did Job do, after he went through these four calamities?  Job rose up, he tore his robe, which is a typical custom in those days.  He shaved his head, which is a typical sign of sorrow.  He fell down upon the ground and worshipped and spoke (Verses 20-22):

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Then, in verse 22:

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

He did not turn his back to God.  Now Job was a righteous person.  Here is my question:  was his righteousness the righteousness of works or was his righteousness the righteousness of faith?  Well, let’s study it, and we will see the end result.  I’m using Job because you will see a very close similarity to the Laodicean message.

God and Satan had a second dialogue in chapter two.  Verse 3:

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.  And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

And Satan said, “Give me him — not his property or his belongings or his children — but I want him in my hands, let me touch him, and you will notice what he will do.” Verses 4-5:

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied.  “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

And in verse 6 of chapter two the Lord said, “Satan, he is in your hand.  The only thing you can’t do is kill him.”  Verse 6:

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

And what did Satan do?  He smote him with boils, terrible boils.  Verses 7-8:

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.  Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

And then comes Job’s wife in verse 9:

His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity?”

Please notice:  “Are you still holding on to your righteousness, to your integrity, to your honesty?”

His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity?  Curse God and die!”

Of course, he rebukes her.  Verse 10a:

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman.  Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

And then the last part of verse 10:

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

In a sense, Job passed both the tests.  Now comes the three friends.  And you will find the names of the three friends in verse 11:  Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.  Now the arguments of these three friends — so called comforters — is typical of the Eastern mentality and is typical of human mentality.  If you read their arguments all through this book — and their argument was wrong, it was not based on truth and, therefore, at the end of the book God rebukes them — they were saying that the reason he was suffering all these calamities plus the boils was because there was some secret sin in his life, that he was doing something behind the backs of the people, and that God was punishing him.

Now does God punish us like that?  No, but that was the argument.  But I want you to see how Job reacted in this dialogue, and this is important.  I will only give you certain texts here and there because we are not able to go through the whole book in detail, but I would recommend that you study for yourselves.  In chapter 6, after their arguments were presented and so on, Job responds in verse 24 and you will notice that Job defends his righteousness before his friends:

“Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.”

“Where have I gone wrong?  Show me what is that sin of mine that you are accusing me of.”  Verse 25:

“How painful are honest words!  But what do your arguments prove?”

Verse 30:

“Is there any wickedness on my lips?  Can my mouth not discern malice?”

What does Job do?  He defends his righteousness.  Let’s go on to chapter 10, and you will notice that Job is now defending his righteousness even before God.  Job 10:2:

“I will say to God:  Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me.”

“Come on God, even You, show me where I have gone wrong.”  Look at verse 7:

“...though you know that I am not guilty...”

Verses 14-15:

If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished.  If I am guilty — woe to me!  Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction.

In other words, he’s defending himself.  “Show me where I’m wrong, show me what my sin is.”  Go to chapter 13.  Job pleads with God to show him his sins.  In fact, Job is so confident that he is sinless, look at verses 23-24:

How many wrongs and sins have I committed?  Show me my offense and my sin.  Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?

In other words, “These three ‘comforters’ are accusing me of some secret sin.  God, show me where I’m wrong.  I’d like to know.”

Was there a sin in Job’s life?  The answer is no.  Was there a problem?  Yes, there was a problem, we shall see it in a moment.  Chapter 16:15-17:

I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust.  My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes; yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.

Can you see what he’s doing?  What is he defending?  His self-righteousness.  Turn to chapter 23 beginning with verse 10.  Now all this time there’s an argument.  These three friends are saying, “There is something wrong, he is defending himself.”  And Job is saying, “Nothing doing!  Let me turn to God and ask Him, let Him show me.”  Job 23:10-13:

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.  My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.  I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.  But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?  He does whatever he pleases.

In other words he’s saying, “I have not sinned, I have kept His commandments, I have held my integrity.”  And he goes on.  And then the three men come back at him.  You need to keep on reading the whole chapter and book.

Then we come to chapter 31, which I recommend you read entirely.  Here is the final argument of Job.  In the KJV there is a subtitle, “Job’s solemn protestation of his integrity.”  In other words, in this whole chapter Job strongly defends his self-righteousness, and insists that there is no sin in him.  And then look at Job 32:1:

So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Tell me, was his righteousness the righteousness of faith, or was it the righteousness of self?  Now please, I would like to point out that Job was sincere, he was honest.  But there was a problem, a problem that he did not realize; it was subconscious, he did not know.  I will show you that in a moment.

After the arguments of the three friends — or comforters, as they are called — a fourth man stepped in.  He must have been the youngest of the four because in Job 32:4 it says:

Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he.

So he was the youngest, he was like Waggoner and Jones, he was a kid, an upstart according to them.  And if you read Elihu’s argument you will notice that he is trying to convince Job that his problem is not sin, but self-righteousness.  Elihu describes Job as saying in Job 34:5,10:

“Job says, ‘I am innocent, but God denies me justice.’

“So listen to me, you men of understanding.  Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong.”

In other words, God is not punishing me for something that I have done wrong, God is not that kind of a Person.  And he’s right there.  But the question that we must ask is, “Why did God allow Job to go through this terrible experience?”  I want to remind you of Hebrews 12:6,11:

...Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Now look at Job 35:2, Elihu replies:

“Do you think this is just?  You say, ‘I will be cleared by God.’”

[Note: Some translations read, “My righteousness is more than God’s.”]

Boy, Job’s self-righteousness is even undermining God’s righteousness.  The argument goes on until we come to chapter 38.  Now in this chapter, God steps in.  All this time there has been an argument between Job and his friends, first the three friends and then the fourth friend, Elihu.  But now God steps in.  And I want you to notice:  if you read chapter 38 to the end of the book, you will discover that God rebukes the three men for wrong theology.  He says, “You are wrong to say that God punishes because you have done something bad.”

And you remember, Christ tried to correct the Jews of the same problem.  The Jews believed that if you had leprosy, or you were sick, or you were maimed, or you were born blind, it was because of your sin, or maybe the sin of your parents.  Remember, Jesus had to correct this many times in His earthly ministry.  And God is correcting the three men.  But we are not concerned about that, we are concerned about God’s dealing with Job.  Job 38:1:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said:

Now please don’t ask me how He answered by the whirlwind, but that’s something which was common in those days.  God speaks to Job, and I want you to notice how Job responds.  Did Job listen to God?  The answer is yes.  Did Job repent?  The answer is yes.  Now look at chapter 40:3-4:

Then Job answered the Lord:  “I am unworthy — how can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth.”

At last Job admits that God is right, that he, Job, is sinful.

The work of the law is to do what?  Stop every mouth.  Romans 3:19:

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

Has the law silenced your mouth?

I am unworthy — how can I reply to you?

“Yes, I answered those three comforters of mine, and I answered Elihu, but how can I answer back to You, God?  You are right, I admit it.”  Job 40:5:

“I spoke once, but I have no answer — twice, but I will say no more.”

God, you are always right.  In other words, what God is pointing out in Job’s life is that there was a problem.  That problem was going to hinder his eternal destiny; God had to correct it.  He did it by this method, by going through this calamity.  Now turn to chapter 42:1-3:

Then Job replied to the Lord:  “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.  You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’  Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”

What was he uttering that he understood not?  He was defending his self-righteousness.  He did not know that his self-righteousness was filthy rags before God.  But now God opens his eyes, and Job says, “I have now understood...things too wonderful for me.”  Verses 4-5:

“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’  My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”

In other words, “I heard about you before, but now I have direct knowledge from you.”  Now listen to verse 6, and folks, this is the text that I want you to look at carefully:

“Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

“God, you are right.”  He’s repenting of his self-righteousness.  He abhors himself.  Have you and I reached that stage?  That is why I said that repentance from self-righteousness is very painful, folks, because you have to swallow your pride.  You have to swallow your pride as an individual, and we have to swallow our pride as a denomination.  It’s hard, folks.  It was hard for Job, but he realized that God was right.  It was hard for Peter to repent about his own opinion.  It is hard for us.

But you know the wonderful thing is this:  after Job had repented, God said, “The lesson has been learnt, what shall I do?”  Look at Job 42:12:

The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.

“I will heap on you, Job, all the blessings now because you have learned your lesson.”  And then you can read about all that God blessed him with (verses 12-16):

The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.  He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.  And he also had seven sons and three daughters.  The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch.  Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.  After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.

God blessed him wonderfully.  Did God enjoy putting Job through the crisis?  No, there was something that had to be learnt and the only way was this method.  So God put him through it, but when he had learnt it God blessed him.  And the last verse (17) says:

And so he died, old and full of years.

He was a converted man.  Folks, that is the condition that we have to reach.  We have to abhor ourselves that Christ may be our righteousness.  That is why Sister White says, “It is the Counsel to Laodicea that will produce the shaking.”  That is why she says that there will be many ministers who are not willing to give up their righteousness which is unrighteousness for the pure truth of Christ our Righteousness.

It is hard, folks, because the ultimate end is that a true Christian rejoices in Christ and has no confidence in self.  And that is the difficult part.  That’s why I went briefly through the book of Job to show you that there was a problem.  God allowed Satan to touch Job for a purpose.  That purpose was to correct him of self-righteousness.  Did Job learn from the chastisement?  Yes.  Did He repent?  Yes.  I don’t know how God is going to chastise us, folks.  He has been rebuking us so far, but it will come, folks, and when it does, you only have to look at the history of Job.

Now I want to read you a statement in this connection.  Have you ever wondered why God allows His people, after probation has closed, after God has already declared, “Let him that is righteous remain righteous still....” [By the way, after probation closes, there will be no swapping; those who are righteous by faith will remain so until the end.  And those who have rejected Christ will remain in that condition.  There is no swapping after probation closes.  That’s what it means.]

But after probation closes, God is going to allow his children, his people to go through a time of crisis that has never been experienced in the past.  Why?  Is it simply to prove that He is right?  Here’s a statement from The Great Controversy [by Ellen G. White], and you will notice it’s similarity to the story of Job.  I’m reading from page 621, talking about “The Time of Trouble”:

“Their affliction is great.  The flames of the furnace seem about to consume them, but the Refiner will bring them forth as ‘gold tried in the fire.’”

Does it sound familiar, those words?  Where is she quoting from?  The Laodicean Message.

God’s love for His children during the period of their severest trial is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity.

So please remember, when you are going through the crisis, it does not mean that God loves you less.  That is why I spent so much time in showing you that the love of God never changes, it’s eternal, it’s agape.  But listen to this:

But it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace of fire [It is needful for them to go through this.  Why?] that their earthliness might be consumed [And that “earthliness” means simply this problem of self must be consumed] that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.

The world desperately needs to see Christ, but it cannot see Christ in you and in me unless the earthliness, until every dross of self has been crucified.  And God allows us to go through this.

Now I want to remind you that in the time of trouble the devil will point to you and to your feelings.  Will you still feel sinful after probation closes?  Yes.  Will you feel that you are not good enough to be saved after probation closes?  Yes.  But the question is, “Who is your righteousness?”  Christ.  And every dross of self, every earthliness, must be consumed.  You must not look at yourself or your experience.  Christ can be fully reproduced in you, folks, only when you have completely said good-bye to self.

With this in mind, I want to close by turning to Christ as our example.  How was it possible for Christ, not as God, but in His humanity, which I believe was exactly like ours, how was it possible for Christ in His humanity to perfectly reveal his Father?  How?  Well I want to quickly give you the steps.  Turn to Philippians chapter 2, and I want you to look at the admonition that Paul gives us, because Paul is here using Christ as an example.  Philippians 2:5:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

What kind of mind did Christ have?  Okay, if you read the rest of the verses, from 6-8, you will discover that the mind of Christ was a mind that was totally emptied of self.  Look at verse 6:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped...

By the way, the Greek word, “equality” in this verse means the “absolute sameness” of God.  So here Paul is saying that He was one with the Father, He was equal with the Father.  So it was not sin for Christ to make Himself equal with the Father, ...“But” — there’s a “but” beginning in verse 7:

...but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

The word kinosis here (“nothing”), means He emptied Himself, He did not cling to that equality, He totally emptied Himself, He gave up all His divine prerogatives, and He became a slave.

...but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!

You can read the rest on your own but I want to go now and turn to some examples.  Please turn your Bibles to the gospel of John.  I’m taking just one book.  When Jesus emptied Himself of self, Who took over?  Was His mind a vacuum?  No.

Before we look at John, there is one other passage that I would like to look at.  Turn to Luke, because Luke reveals something that we need to know.  I want to look at two verses in the book of Luke.  First, Luke 4:1:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert,....

How was Jesus led?  He was walking now in the Spirit, which is what Paul admonishes the Christian.  Look at verse 14, which is after the temptation that He went through and which He passed:

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

In other words, Jesus emptied Himself, so that it was no longer “I” but the Holy Spirit that controlled Him, and that’s why He could reveal the Father.  Now turn to John.  I want you to notice the mind of Christ, look at John 5:19:

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Remember, Jesus says in John 15, “You can do nothing without me.”  But Christ Himself said, “I can do nothing of myself.”  In other words, He was totally God-dependant.  Look at verse 30 (John 5:30a):

By myself I can do nothing....

In other words, “Everything I say, everything I do came from God.  I was not depending on Myself, I was totally God-dependant.”  Turn to John 6:57, a very important verse, because not only does Christ tell us how He lived but He also advises us how we should live:

Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.

In other words, “Just as I was totally dependant on the father, so you must be totally dependent on Me.  It is not your righteousness the world needs to see.  It is My righteousness.”

Turn to John 10; we’ll look here at three verses.  In this chapter, Jesus claimed that His works originated with the Father, and not with Him.  Verse 32:

...But Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father.  For which of these do you stone me?”

Now I want to remind you in this context, Matthew 5:14,16:

You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

“You Christians are the light of the world.  Let this light so shine that men may see your good works and glorify the Father.”  In other words, the light shining must be the works of the Father in us, just like in Christ the Father revealed Himself through the works of Christ.  So Jesus is saying to the Jews, “Many works have I done which came from the Father, for which one of these are you going to stone Me?” And then in verse 37 and 38 of John 10:

Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.  But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

“I am totally depending on Him, and He is living in Me.”

What is Jesus saying here?  He is saying, “Look, the works I have done, you can’t do, man can’t do.”  Because they were supernatural works that Christ did.  “So if you don’t believe My words, believe My works.”  And you remember what Nicodemus said when He came to visit Jesus at night?  He said, “You know, nobody could do the works that You are doing unless He comes from God.”  So Nicodemus at least recognized it.

Now I want to go to John 14 as my last example.  In verse 8, Philip says to Jesus:

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Verse 9:

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

What did Jesus mean?  The answer is found in verses 10 and 11:

“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?  The words I say to you are not just my own.  Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”

In other words, “The message I preach does not come from Me, it comes from the Father.”

We must be clear:  the same thing is true today.  There is a tendency for us in this modern age, because of the tremendous emphasis we put on education and academics, that we present people with our own ideas.  That is not feeding, folks.  We must allow God to speak through us, otherwise the message becomes meaningless.  Verse 11:

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”

That’s very interesting, after Jesus defended His Messiahship through the works that the Father did in Him, He goes on in verse 12, and He says:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

“The works that I do the believer will do.  Why?  Because now it is I Who am dwelling by My Spirit in you, and the world needs to see Me in you now.”

Can you see what is required of Laodicea?  Number one, what is our problem?  Is Adventism guilty of gross sins?  And the answer is no.  Then what is our problem?  Self-righteousness, which has deceived us.  Do we need to repent of self-righteousness?  Yes.  It is crucial that we do.  And God will go through all lengths, He will rebuke us first, then He will chastise us.  How far will He chastise us?  I don’t know, but looking at Job it can be pretty drastic.  How would you like to lose all your kids, all your property, and then be filled with sores?  Terrible!

But did God do it out of anger, or out of love?  Love.  He knew that Job had to learn a lesson, it was for his eternal destiny.  And Job did learn the lesson, he did repent, and he abhorred himself.  And he said, “God, you are right.”

And it is my prayer that we will have the mind of Christ.  Christ has given us the best example in having no confidence in the flesh.  He did not depend on His humanity for His righteousness, He depended on God.  And God worked through Him by the Holy Spirit and the same God wants to work through you.

In concluding, I want to give you a covenant that God wants to make with you, it’s called the New Covenant, and that is found in 2 Corinthians 6 and the second half of verse 16:

As God has said:  “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Folks, it is this covenant that God wants to fulfil in our church.  And when that happens, the earth will be lightened with God’s glory.  But that cannot happen until we repent.  Repent of what?  Of our self-righteousness.  And may God help us.


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