LI. THE TEST OF THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
BOASTING, "I AM RICH AND HAVE BECOME RICH
AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING," NOT KNOWING
THAT IT WAS WRETCHED, MISERABLE,
POOR, BLIND, AND NAKED—
An opinionated and lukewarm church would always be proud and boast of its riches, thinking that it has need of nothing, but not knowing its wretchedness, miserableness, poverty, blindness, and nakedness. Hence, the loving and merciful Lord counsels such a church to buy, to obtain at a cost from Him, refined gold (the tested faith for partaking of the divine nature), white garments (the conduct approvable to the Lord), and anointing eye salve (the anointing Spirit, the Lord Himself as the life-giving Spirit) as their remedies (v. 18).
The above items, XLI to LI, are all the negative items in which the seven local churches in Asia were different from one another. The seven churches as the seven golden lampstands were all identical in the positive things concerning the testimony of Christ. But they were abnormally different in these eleven cases, all of which are serious tests that have done tremendous damage to the oneness of the organic Body of Christ. Hence, the Lord advised all seven churches to overcome all these tests that they might be rewarded (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Otherwise, they will be punished (2:5, 11—by implication—16, 22-23; 3:3, 11, 16).
The seven local churches in Asia were sovereignly arranged by the Lord so that they might typify all the churches in the seven stages of the church age. Thus, regardless of what stage we are in as a local church, we should take care of all the eleven cases of negative things in the proper way as shown in Revelation 2 and 3. May the Lord have mercy on us and afford us His grace and blessing that we might not be negligent and indifferent in dealing with all these oneness-damaging problems.
(Elders' Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (2), Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)