“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Lord says in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
When people are poor in spirit, their hearts become humble and they are ready to seek God. Their hearts thirst for God and put their trust in Him.
On the other hand, people who are rich in spirit have their hearts filled with arrogance, pride, selfishness, and greed. That’s why they don’t look for God.
They rather try to increasingly fill their hearts with the things of the world.
However there is another case. Some people start their believing lives with their hearts poor in spirit. As time goes by, their hearts return to being rich in spirit again.
Their hearts do not become rich because they are filled with the truth, but instead, the heart of the flesh comes back to life and fills their heart and their hearts become arrogant once again.
Especially when they gain wealth, honor, or authority and think of themselves as rich, it is then that their faith deteriorates into fleshly faith.
They say they live a believing life, but they don’t actually long for or thirst after the truth. They eventually stop praying, and their longing for spiritual things eventually disappears.
They don’t do things by faith any more, instead they do it formally and by habit. They put things of their own desires or of things of the world ahead of God and the things of God.
In tonight’s scripture, the Lord says to such people, “You say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing.””
But you should understand that they are not actually rich. They are rather wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
Even when the Holy Spirit groans and their spirit is afflicted, they don’t realize it. If this situation continues, there will be no salvation for them. That’s why they are called miserable.
No matter how much they possess in this earth, since they have nothing piled up in heaven, they are actually poor. And since they don’t see nor understand the spiritual world and the things in it, they are blind.
They are called “naked” because they don’t have any garments prepared as brides, and they don’t adorn themselves as the Lord’s bride to enter heaven.
The Lord says to such people, “Buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.”
And I explained the spiritual meaning of the verse to you in the last session.
Even though the Lord provides these solutions, if they don’t listen to Him, then there will be even more serious admonishment and punishment to come.
But still, all this is the love of Father God.
The Lord says in the verse 19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” This statement clearly shows the reason and the purpose of God’s reproach.
He reproaches because He loves, and the purpose of the reproach is to make them repent through the reproach and become zealous.
Hebrews 12:6-8 says, “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” Likewise, the reason God reproaches His children is because He loves them.
If there is no reproach or punishment even after a child commits a sin, the child will not realize any faults. The child will eventually fall into more serious sin, and in the end, the child cannot but go to the way of death according to the law of spiritual world, “The wages of sin is death.”
Therefore, it is the heart of parents who love their children is to guide them in the right way even if it means punishing them.
Even the parents of flesh will not cover their children’s transgressions unconditionally, if they truly love their children. When they see their children going the wrong way, they will make them realize their faults, repent, and turn back even if it means punishment for the children.
Likewise, since Father God loves His children, He also reprimands His children.
You must feel such love of Father God in your heart. If you can feel this love of God despite His punishment, you will be able to repent, turn back, and change.
On the other hand, if you don’t realize anything even after the punishment, there will be no reason for God’s punishment.
Therefore, there will be no more punishment even if you commit sin later.
If there is no punishment even though someone committed a sin, then he is nothing but an illegitimate son.
If he is prosperous and there is no punishment even though he doesn’t live by the word but commits sins, he’s been ignored by God.
You must know that if the situation has become like this, then there is no more unfortunate situation than this
If he is a loving-child of God, when he goes the wrong way, God will not let him be as though he were an illegitimate son, but He will punish him. And this is rather a blessing for him who is being punished.
The punishment may be scary and fearsome at the moment. But if he thinks to himself, “Without this punishment, what would I have become?” he will feel and understand the love of Father God through the punishment.
Then, he can quickly turn back from his wrong way, and try hard to live a very diligent life of the truth.
How pleased will God be when He sees His child changing?
Even though he is receiving punishment at the moment, as long as he remembers it and makes it a chance to turn the punishment into a blessing, then through the punishment, he will feel the love of God all the more and run the race of faith all the better.
But it doesn’t mean that you can go a wrong way until you are punished.
Before God gives punishment, He surely gives many chances.
God makes you realize it through the word, admonishes you, or reproves you so that you can repent.
If you can realize your fault fairly quickly, it will be good. If not and receive punishment, still you should realize it is also the love of Father God, repent from the depth of your heart, and turn back.
Then you must recover the lost trust-relationship with God, and start to pile up your reward in heaven again.
Now, in the verse 20, the Lord says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
The church in Laodicea heard only the word of reproach so far, but this is the word of promise so that the church in Laodicea can have hope.
The Lord says that even though they were in deep spiritual slumber because of their lukewarm faith, they should listen to the voice of the Lord and wake up.
First of all, the meaning of “I stand at the door and knock” is that the Lord is knocking on your heart with the word of the truth.
When we listen to the word of God, we have to make bread out of it. In order to do so, first, the word of the truth should come in through the door of mind.
And then it should come into the heart through the door of heart.
It’s like when you enter a living room, you must enter through the gate, and then through the door of the living room.
Therefore when you listen to the word of God, even though it is not in accordance with your idea or knowledge, you must open the door of mind, and accept it with ‘Amen.’
When those who have lived in the world of the untruth listen to the word of the truth, chances are that the word may not be in accordance with their idea, thought, or their self-frame or self-righteousness.
But they should once open the door of the mind and accept the word of God. And then they should also open the door of heart wide, and put the word in their heart.
Once the Word is put in their heart like this, they can gradually live by the Word.
Then it is called “Eating and drinking with the Lord.”
But, even though they opened the door of mind and accepted the word, more importantly if the door of their heart is not opened, the word will remain as mere knowledge in their brain.
This is so-called “faith as mere knowledge.” It is a dead faith that is not accompanied with deeds. They will eventually have lukewarm faith.
Even though they have managed a believing life for a long period of time, and have heard much, since they haven’t cultivated the Word into their heart, they cannot have spiritual faith, that is the faith to believe. They just become church-goers.
By the way, even if the Lord is Almighty, He doesn’t force anyone to open the door of their hearts.
That’s because it is not according to justice.
If God forces a person to open the door of their heart and makes them have spiritual faith, who of this world would not be able to receive salvation and go to New Jerusalem? It is not human cultivation in justice.
God gives each one a free will. He wants to get true children who will believe in God and love God from the bottom of the heart of their own free will.
Therefore, you must understand that even though the Lord is knocking on the door of your mind and heart, it is you that opens the door.
If you truly love God, you will surely open the door of heart, and dine with the Lord, and live by the word of the truth.
And by opening the door of heart, accepting the word of the truth, and practicing the word, you will over this world and the enemy devil and Satan.
Also, those who will open the door of heart, accept the Lord’s words of reproach, and turn back will also overcome.
To such people, the Lord says in the verse 21, “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
Just like the Lord who overcame the authority of the death, and sat on the right hand of God, those who overcome will also sit down on the throne of salvation.
Even though the Lord has spoken only the word of reproach to the church in Laodicea, the Lord says in the end that the door of salvation is still open for them if they repent and turn back.
Until the door of the arc of salvation is completely shut, there still remains the chance. That’s why the Lord is speaking to them like this in His burning heart.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Even though we are those who overcome, we must become those who will overcome until the end.
Only when we walk the narrow way the Lord Jesus Christ walked in joy, thanks, and love without change until the end, can we stand with the Lord and enjoy the glory with Lord on the Last Day.
But there are some people who seem to overcome at some point, but give up in the middle so that they cannot participate in the blessing and glory.
You should never be among them.
I urge you to remember that the word the Lord gives to the church in Laodicea in the word that the Holy Spirit gives to those who have an ear. I’m urging you to look back on your faith. If it’s been lukewarm faith, please repent right away, and turn back.
May you stand in line with those who will overcome until the end, or to make it better, come in to the front side of the line and stay closer to the throne of the Lord, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Tonight, it is the end of the messages on the Seven Churches.
These messages on the Seven Churches are very important so that you can check your faith.
It is even more so because the time the Lord will come back is very near and because we have to be awaken.
Just as the Lord says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches,” it is time that many churches and the members of churches should look back on themselves.
It is time that they should awake from their spiritual sleep. It is time that they should protect themselves from the world all the more fervently.
It’s time that they should check their faith again if they profess they believe. It’s time that they should change themselves in the word of God and adorn themselves as the bride of the Lord.
The word that the Lord gives to the seven churches is indication, admonishment, reproach, and lessons for the problems that many churches of our days may have in this world.
Therefore, if each church can realize why they are pointed out and reproved, or why they are commended, they will come to have proper faith in the sight of the Lord.
They should understand what the true church that God truly wants is, and who the true believer that God truly wants, and they should become like that.
The church in Ephesus is the church that has tried hard to live in the word, and throw away the things against the truth. And they’ve been faithful to their duties, and diligent in gathering.
But they are reproved by the Lord because they have left their first love.
The Lord says to them, “If you don’t do the deeds you did at first, I will remove your lampstand.”
Likewise, it is the fact that if a church loses its first love and deeds even though it used to be faithful, it cannot but listen to the word of reproach.
Therefore, the important thing is your faith of today. You cannot make an excuse by saying, “I used to be faithful. I used to do my duty faithfully. I used to love God,” in an attempt to cover your lazy faith.
You must not lose your first love and first deeds. And, you must do your best every moment. You must run the race of faith with the same fullness and inspiration that you had when you first met the Lord.
The church in Smyrna had to suffer from persecution and tribulation for the name of the Lord. But the Lord says that it is eventually a blessing for them.
The Lord promises them that they will be given a great reward in heaven, if they are faithful with steadfast faith to the point of giving up their lives in any situation.
Therefore, I hope that you will realize how blessed you are when you are under persecution or tribulation for the kingdom of the Lord, and run the race of faith in joy and thanks.
The church in Pergamum heard the word of reproach and warning from the Lord on behalf of the churches who are living a believing life as they think fit and who are stained by the hypocrisy.
They say they believe in the Lord. However, there are churches who befriend the world just as Balaam did. And there are churches that deteriorate the word of the truth of God and fall into the teachings of hypocrisy just like the Nicolaitans.
Through the word given to the church in Pergamum, you must correctly learn and understand the word of the truth, live a proper believing life. You should also understand the biblical standard of hypocrisy, and not be deceived by it.
The church in Thyatira also heard the word of reproach from the Lord. They seem to live a diligent believing life, but actually they are remained outside of the will of God.
From a fleshly perspective, they seem faithful and enthusiastic, but they didn’t circumcise their hearts. For them, their faith is just fleshly faithfulness and it is of no use in the sight of God.
They may fall into the temptation of false prophets like Jezebel and fall well short of the truth.
You must be aware that the faith that doesn’t circumcise heart but only concentrates on the outward appearance is the faith likened to chaff; you cannot receive salvation with such faith.
The church in Sardis is the church that has dead faith without deeds, and it heard the word of reproach from the Lord.
If they have true faith, the deeds will surely follow. The deeds accompanying true faith becomes the proof that they believe in the Lord and love the Lord.
The church in Philadelphia has obeyed only with ‘Yes and Amen’ according to the Word of the truth since they had a little faith. They heard the word of commendation and the promise of blessing from the Lord.
All the churches of God must be like this church in Philadelphia so that they not only receive love and blessing from the Lord, but also become blessed and beautiful churches to enter the precious place of glory in heaven.
The church in Laodicea heard the word of reproach from the Lord because it is the church that is not hot any longer. They no longer try to be enthusiastic, and their faith has become stagnated.
With the blessing that they received from the Lord when they were enthusiastic and hot, instead of becoming more enthusiastic, they compromise the world and pursue the wealth, honor, and authority of the world. The Lord causes them realize it.
The Lord tells them to realize that the punishment of such churches and their members is actually love and blessing from the Lord, and it given for them to repent and turn back. It is still applicable even at this moment.
Through these words given to the seven churches, you’ve been able to look back on your faith and ask yourself whether your faith has been the true faith, whether you have departed from the first love, and whether your faithfulness was the spiritual faith or the fleshly faith.
And you can also learn lessons about ‘Dead Faith & Live Faith,” the justice of God who repays according to what each has done,’ the ‘Faith that compromises with the world,’ and ‘Lukewarm Faith.’ They are the lessons that believers of today should regularly reflect upon while examining their faith.
The word given to each of the seven churches is the very necessary word for God’s children who live in this present time.
Therefore, please look back on your faith once again. And if you find any shortcomings, I do hope that you will repent, turn back, and change as soon as possible so that many of you can come into spirit.
Father God knows that the mission of ‘Construction of the Grand Sanctuary’ and the ‘World Mission’ are not something that just anyone can accomplish. It is for this reason that God has interacted and been involved in every detail of this church and its members. He has refined us to make us a strong church and spiritual soldiers.
But the fact is that only the prepared men (and women) of spirit can be used by God.
No matter how much you speak with your lips and no matter how eagerly you want it, only when you are ready in spirit can you become a proper vessel that God can use.
May you take this moment to make a more firm resolution to participate in the ministry of Manmin, the ministry that God will lead in the totally new level and dimension!
And may all of you stand in the line of blessing that represents the glory of God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray!