The Orthodoxy of the Church, Chap 8, Section 4 of 4


The Lord also speaks of buying “eyesalve to anoint your eyes that you may see” (Rev. 3:18). Buy eyesalve to anoint your eyes—this is the revelation of the Holy Spirit. You must have the revelation of the Holy Spirit; then you can be counted as seeing. On the contrary, knowing too much doctrine may result in the decrease of the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Doctrine is the transmission of thought from one to another; yet the spiritual eyes have not seen. Many people are walking in the light of others. Many elderly brothers speak in this way, so you speak in this way. Today you say, “So-and-so told me”; if there were no “So-and-so” to tell you, you would not know what to do. You receive doctrine from man’s teaching, not from the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus says that this will not work; you must have the revelation of the Holy Spirit. I cannot write a letter to a friend asking him to listen to the gospel for me so that I can be saved. Likewise, anything received from the hands of man is finished when it comes to us; it has nothing to do with God. According to the Bible, this is blindness. Without touching the Holy Spirit, you cannot deal with spiritual things. It is not a matter of how much you have heard. Many times it is merely an increase in doctrine, an increase in knowledge, yet without seeing anything before God. So you must learn one thing before God—you have to buy eyesalve. Only seeing by myself is really seeing. Seeing is the basis of what has already been gained and is the basis of seeing again.

“As many as I love I rebuke and discipline; be zealous therefore and repent” (v. 19). The words spoken previously are rebukes. But the Lord shows us that He rebukes and chastens in this manner because He loves. Therefore, be zealous. What should we do? Repent. First, we must repent. Repentance is not just an individual matter; the church also must repent.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me” (v. 20). There is quite a lot in this statement. What kind of door is this door? Many use this verse to preach the gospel. It is all right to borrow this verse for the preaching of the gospel; it is all right to lend this verse to the sinners; but it must not be borrowed too long without returning it. This verse is a verse for the children of God. It does not refer to the Lord knocking at the heart of a sinner; this door is the door of the church. Because the door here is singular, the Lord is referring to the church. It is indeed strange that the Lord is the Head of the church, or shall we say the origin of the church, yet He is standing outside the door of the church! “Behold, I stand at the door”! This is really a terrible condition. If the Lord is outside the door of the church, what kind of church is this?

The Lord says, “Behold”! The Lord says this to the whole church. The door is the door of the church. “If anyone hears My voice and opens the door..” These two words—”if anyone”—show that the opening of the door is an individual matter. In the Bible there are two lines in regard to the truth. One line is the line of the Holy Spirit, and the other line is the line of Christ; one is subjective, and the other is objective; one concerns experience, and the other concerns the faith. If someone pays too much attention to the objective truth, then he can be seen mounting the clouds and riding the mists, which is impractical. If he constantly stands on the subjective side, excessively stressing the inner working of the Holy Spirit, then he will look continuously inward and become dissatisfied. Everyone who is seeking the Lord must be balanced by both truths. One shows me that I am perfect in Christ, and the other shows me that the inner working of the Holy Spirit causes me to become perfect. The greatest failure of the Brethren was their excessive stress on the objective truth and neglect of the subjective truth. Philadelphia failed and became Laodicea. Her failure was due to too much objective truth. This does not mean that there was nothing at all of the inner working of the Holy Spirit, but generally speaking, there was too much of the objective aspect with too little of the subjective. If you open the door, “I will come in.” This means that the objective becomes the subjective; that is, He will change what you have of the objective into the subjective. In John 15:4 the Lord speaks of both aspects: “Abide in Me and I in you.” In Revelation 3:20 the Lord says, “I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me.” If you open the door, He will dine with you. This is fellowship and this also is joy. Then you will have an intimate fellowship with the Lord as well as the joy that springs from such fellowship.

“He who overcomes, to him I will give to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne” (v. 21). Among the promises given to the overcomers in the seven churches, many say this is the best. Although some like the other promises to the overcomers, many have told me that the Lord’s promise to Laodicea excels them all. In the previous promises to the overcomers the Lord did not say anything concerning Himself. But here the Lord says that if you overcome, you will dine with Me. Since you have passed through all kinds of overcoming, you can sit with My Father on the throne. You must overcome so that you can sit with the Lord on His throne. The overcomer here has an exceedingly high promise because the church age is ending. The overcomer is waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the throne is here.

© Living Stream Ministry, 2021, used by permission