A loving message from Jesus to the Laodicean Church

The Testimonies Point out Specific Sins


Would God be so cruel as to insist that we overcome on every point, but not tell us what these points even are? Of course not! He gives us clear directions on what we are to overcome. The straight testimony is designed to clearly point out sin, and provide us with a remedy.

The straight testimony is a pointed testimony, and it points to specific sins in our lives that must be overcome.

Those who engage in the solemn work of bearing the third angel's message, must move out decidedly, and in the Spirit and power of God, fearlessly preach the truth, and let it cut. They should elevate the standard of truth, and urge the people to come up to it. It has been lowered down to meet the people in their condition of darkness and sin. It is the pointed testimony that will bring up the people to decide. {2SG 299.2}

God's servants must bear a pointed testimony. It will cut the natural heart, and develop character. {2SG 300.2}

Ministers of Christ should arise and engage in the work of God with all their energies. God's servants are not excused if they shun pointed testimony. {1T 214.1}

This pointed testimony, the straight testimony to God's last day people, points out specific sins. If we don't know what sins are being cherished in our hearts, how can we repent?

The message to the Laodicean church reveals our condition as a people. {RH, December 15, 1904 par. 9}

Why hasn't the straight testimony done its work?

I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God's people at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts. But God has given the message time to do its work. The heart must be purified from sins which have so long shut out Jesus. This fearful message will do its work. 1 T 185

The following is a very important quotation:

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: " God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people." Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: "They are joined to their idols, let them alone," and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. {1T 187.1}

What we must understand is-what are these points upon which we must overcome? We are to come up to every point, and we must overcome. If these points are unclear in our minds, we will not be able to overcome. We must know when we are being tested! We must know the issues that we are dealing with.

Jesus is our Great example in overcoming. He overcame in every point! Praise God!

Christ came to our world because he saw that it was impossible for man to overcome in his own behalf. He came to be the head of the church, to give his own life, that man might have everlasting life. He withstood all the temptations and devices of the enemy, and step by step passed over the ground where Adam fell, and redeemed his disgraceful failure. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Satan was on his track at every step, and in the wilderness he assailed him with the three leading temptations with which man is overcome,--appetite, presumption, and ambition. {RH, July 5, 1892 par. 10}

These points on which we must overcome are clearly outlined in the Spirit of Prophecy. Therefore, it is important that we familiarize ourselves with these testimonies.

Perilous times are before us. Every one who has a knowledge of the truth should awake, and place himself, body, soul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on our track. We must be wide awake, on our guard against him. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must follow the directions given through the Spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church, and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position we should now occupy. The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer? {GW 308.1}

As we read the testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy, the Holy Spirit will bring conviction to our hearts. Then we will clearly recognize these points that need to be overcome. There will not be any questions in our mind. We will be on our guard continually.

As a people, we need to be guarded on every point. {PH149 77.2}

We must guard well every point; for Satan is unwearied in his work of temptation. Watch well your words; guard well the spirit that prompts your words. Stand as faithful sentinels over your own defective attributes of character, that you may do nothing which will prove a stumbling-block to your brother. Do not make crooked paths for your feet, paths that will turn his feet out of the way of life. {RH, April 27, 1897 par. 6}

Every point that we must guard involves a moral decision. There is a right and wrong choice involved.

Morality cannot be separated from religion. At every point and decision inquire, Is this the way of the Lord? {CTr 124.5}

That's sounds like a moment by moment connection is needed with Divine wisdom, and indeed it is! Without this connection, we have no hope of victory over sin.

The great conflict is right at hand in which all will take sides; in it the whole Christian world will be involved. Daily, hourly, we must be actuated by the principles of the Word of God. Self must be sanctified by the principles of the righteousness, the mercy, and the love of God. At every point of uncertainty, pray and earnestly inquire: Is this the way of the Lord? With your Bibles before you, consult with God as to what He would have you do. Holy principles are revealed in the Word of God. The source of all true wisdom is found in the cross of Calvary. {CTr 358.4}

God is faithful to provide all the wisdom and power we need!

God is omnipotent, and at every point where we need divine help and seek for it in sincerity, it will be given. {RH, June 16, 1896 par. 5}

Through this power, we can overcome!

He is to make use of every entrusted power, that he may overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil through the power of the Holy Spirit, by grace abundantly provided that he shall not fail nor be discouraged, but be complete in Christ, accepted in the Beloved. {RH, June 16, 1896 par. 5}

Your part is to put your will on the side of Christ. When you yield your will to his, he immediately takes possession of you, and works in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. Your nature is brought under the control of his Spirit. Even your thoughts are subject to him. .I point you to Jesus Christ, the sinner's Saviour, who alone can give you power to overcome on every point. {CTBH 148.4}

We also need to examine ourselves daily to see if we are overcoming our weak points.

Many are in danger, after having preached to others, of themselves becoming castaways; for they do not see the importance of self-knowledge; they do not watch and pray lest they enter into temptation. By watchfulness and prayer they might become acquainted with those points in their character where they are most easily overcome by the enemy; by resistance of every attack, their weak points might become their strong points. Every follower of Christ should daily examine himself, and by constant prayer arm himself for conflict. {RH, July 30, 1901 par. 5}

Those who are unwilling to closely examine themselves end up having a false hope.

Professors of religion are not willing to closely examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith; and it is a fearful fact that many are leaning on a false hope. {1T 188.2}

Being lukewarm is even worse than being cold!

It would be more pleasing to the Lord if lukewarm professors of religion had never named His name. They are a continual weight to those who would be faithful followers of Jesus. They are a stumbling block to unbelievers, and evil angels exult over them, and taunt the angels of God with their crooked course. {1T 188.2}

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}

We are in grave danger if we fail to walk in the light. Every defect must be overcome.

We are living amid the perils of the last days, and we should guard every avenue by which Satan can approach us with his temptations. A fatal delusion seizes those who have had great light and precious opportunities, but who have not walked in the light nor improved the opportunities God has given them. .We must be sanctified through the truth; every defect of character must be overcome, or it will overcome us, and become a controlling power for evil. .. There is no way by which you can be saved in sin. Every soul that gains eternal life must be like Christ, "holy, blameless, undefiled, separate from sinners." The followers of Christ must shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. {RH, June 3, 1884 par. 10}

If we are careless, and allow these sins to remain in our lives, we are in bringing reproach on Christ.

It is a thought that should arouse Christians to greater zeal and earnestness in overcoming evil, that every defect in character, every point in which they fail to meet the divine standard, is an open door by which Satan can enter to tempt and destroy them; and, furthermore, that every failure and defect on their part gives occasion to the tempter and his agents to reproach Christ. We are to exert every energy of the soul in the work of overcoming, and to look to Jesus for strength to do what we cannot do of ourselves. No sin can be tolerated in those who shall walk with Christ in white. The filthy garments are to be removed, and Christ's robe of righteousness is to be placed upon us. By repentance and faith we are enabled to render obedience to all the commandments of God, and are found without blame before Him. Those who shall meet the approval of God are now afflicting their souls, confessing their sins, and earnestly pleading for pardon through Jesus their Advocate. {5T 472.1}

The eye salve referred to in Revelation 3 is that spiritual discernment that is needed in order to know the areas in which we need to overcome.

God leads His people on step by step. The Christian life is a constant battle and a march. There is no rest from the warfare. It is by constant, unceasing effort that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. As a people we are triumphing in the clearness and strength of the truth. We are fully sustained in our positions by an overwhelming amount of plain Scriptural testimony. But we are very much wanting in Bible humility, patience, faith, love, self-denial, watchfulness, and the spirit of sacrifice. We need to cultivate Bible holiness. Sin prevails among the people of God. The plain message of rebuke to the Laodiceans is not received. Many cling to their doubts and their darling sins while they are in so great a deception as to talk and feel that they are in need of nothing. They think the testimony of the Spirit of God in reproof is uncalled for or that it does not mean them. Such are in the greatest need of the grace of God and spiritual discernment that they may discover their deficiency in spiritual knowledge. They lack almost every qualification necessary to perfect Christian character. They have not a practical knowledge of Bible truth, which leads to lowliness of life and a conformity of their will to the will of Christ. They are not living in obedience to all God's requirements. {3T 253.2}

One of the most frequently mentioned points in the Spirit of Prophecy upon which we need to overcome is that of appetite.

The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan. ... It is only through obedience and continual effort that we shall overcome as Christ overcame. {TSDF 36.6}

In the name and strength of Jesus every youth may conquer the enemy today on the point of perverted appetite. My dear young friends, advance step by step, until all your habits shall be in harmony with the laws of life and health. He who overcame in the wilderness of temptation 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."--The Youth's Instructor, July 16, 1903. {Te 190.2}

The message of health reform is definitly part of the straight testimony.

Let those who are teachers and leaders in our cause take their stand firmly on Bible ground in regard to health reform, and give a straight testimony to those who believe we are living in the last days of this earth's history. A line of distinction must be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve themselves. {ChL 75.1}

In the chapter referenced above in Testimonies, Volume 1, The Laodicean Church, one of the specific sins dwelt upon largely is following the fashions of the world:

I was shown that the people of God should not imitate the fashions of the world. Some have done this, and are fast losing the peculiar, holy character which should distinguish them as God's people..Young and old, God is now testing you. You are deciding your own eternal destiny. Your pride, your love to follow the fashions of the world, your vain and empty conversation, your selfishness, are all put in the scale, and the weight of evil is fearfully against you. You are poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. .The third angel is leading up a people, step by step, higher and higher. At every step they will be tested. 1T

This is one aspect of the straight testimony that has been large neglected and resisted. Yet, it is one of the points upon which the remnant must overcome if they are to receive the seal of God.

One of the points upon which those newly come to the faith will need instruction is the subject of dress . Let the new converts be faithfully dealt with. Are they vain in dress? Do they cherish pride of heart? The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases, submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress. {Ev 268.2}

This neglect of the straight testimony has caused a deplorable situation in our churches.

The professed followers of Christ are no longer a separate and peculiar people. The line of demarcation is indistinct. The people are subordinating themselves to the world, to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. The church has gone over to the world in transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is being converted to the world. {COL 315.3}

Should there not be in their dress a distinction from that of the world? Should not the people of God, who are His peculiar treasure, seek even in their dress to glorify God? And should they not be examples in point of dress, and by their simple style rebuke the pride, vanity, and extravagance of worldly, pleasure-loving professors? God requires this of His people. Pride is rebuked in His Word (HR Feb. 1872). {1BC 1114.1}

The need to overcome pride of dress, following the fashions of this world, and vanity is not an optional point in the Christian life:

Unless you overcome pride of dress, pride of heart, love of self, all anger and every evil passion,God will not own you as his, and will not receive you to himself at his appearing. {YI, December 1, 1852 par. 23}

One of the most tragic things a person can do is to refuse to surrender the will to Jesus, and yet try to follow stringent reforms. This is most displeasing to God, because it is a form of self-exaltation, and self-righteousness. Without a renewed heart, efforts to live up to high standards will become a point of pride. We must make sure that we have invited Jesus to take full control of our lives, so He will receive all the glory for any changes we make for the better.

Please do not endeavor to impose these on others. Even when working with children who are old enough to understand moral choices, we need to enlist their wills on the side of right. External obedience without inward surrender to God is still rebellion. Self-righteousness brings deadly deception. That's the condition of Laodicea.

To follow a list of rules without seeking a surrendered, committed relationship with Jesus, without deep heart-felt repentance is a futile and dangerous endeavor. To do so places you at huge risk to assume that your admirable behavior earns you saving merit with God. This is a terrible deception, and cannot be further from the truth. To evaluate your standing with God by your behavior is deadly. We must recognize our utter sinfulness, our desperate need of a Savior and total incapability to think even one good thought without the infilling of the Spirit.

Since we all have sinned, how can we ever be worthy of salvation? Attempting to follow every single reform can never make you worthy of God's saving grace. A renewed heart does not try to earn saving merit by obedience. You cannot earn it, and if you should dare to try, you are absolutely guaranteed that you will fall short, and be lost! Spiritual pursuits performed by carnal hearts end in miserable failure.

Mark the following words: "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Here is represented a people who pride themselves in their possession of spiritual knowledge and advantages. But they have not responded to the unmerited blessings that God has bestowed upon them. They have been full of rebellion, ingratitude, and forgetfulness of God; and still He has dealt with them as a loving, forgiving father deals with an ungrateful, wayward son. They have resisted His grace, abused His privileges, slighted His opportunities, and have been satisfied to sink down in contentment, in lamentable ingratitude, hollow formalism, and hypocritical insincerity. With pharisaic pride they have vaunted themselves till it has been said of them, "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing" (verse 17). {FW 83.1}

Because of this tremendous danger, we must seek that brokenness and contrition that can only be experienced at the foot of the cross. When we come to see that Jesus has fully paid for our salvation, when we have gazed with wonder and admiration upon the crucified Christ, when we have yielded our hearts in total surrender to Jesus, and know that we are dead to self, and have risen to walk in newness of life, then genuine revival will bring true reformation. Reform without revival creates hypocrisy and Pharisaical legalism. Be extremely careful to guard against this.

On the other hand, genuine revival cannot take place without genuine reformation. If the emotional experience you thought was revival fades away in an mist, please recognize it was not true revival after all. The will must be given over to God, completely, giving Him permission to transform the life as He see fit.

A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.--RH Feb. 25, 1902. {LDE 189.3}

All of self must be crucified with Christ, not one speck can be allowed to remain. Our self-righteousness, where we consider ourselves to be worthy of salvation, and our self-damnation, where we consider ourselves too bad for God to save us, all are part of self. Only as Christ is allowed to reign supreme, as our will is given over to Him, and all our decision subjected to His will, only then will we receive the straight testimony. Our eternal destiny depends upon our reception of this precious saving message from Jesus.

The road to paradise is not one of self-exaltation, but of repentance, confession, humiliation, of faith and obedience. The message to the Laodicean Church is appropriate to the church at this time: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent." There are many who are priding themselves upon their spiritual riches, their knowledge of the truth, and are living in guilty self-deception. When the members of the church humble themselves before God by zealous, not half-hearted, lifeless action, the Lord will receive them. But he declares, "I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." How long shall this warning be resisted? How long shall it be slighted? {RH, December 23, 1890 par. 14}


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Revelation 3

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 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.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.