III. TO OVERCOME THE LUKEWARMNESS IN THE LORD’S TESTIMONY
We also need to overcome the lukewarmness in the Lord’s testimony (Rev. 3:15-16; 12:17b). To be lukewarm is to be neither hot nor cold.
A. To Hate and Abhor the Pride and Boast of Being Wealthy and Rich in the Vain Doctrinal Knowledge
To overcome lukewarmness, we have to hate and abhor our pride. We may be too proud and content with our present situation. We also have to hate and abhor the boast of being wealthy and rich in the vain doctrinal knowledge (Rev. 3:17a). We may have been in the recovery for a number of years, and during this time we may think that we have accumulated many truths. We may think that we are wealthy, but we may be wealthy only in vain doctrinal knowledge. We can know doctrines but not have the spiritual insight to comprehend the genuine reality in God’s economy. We have to hate this because such knowledge is vain and meaningless.
B. To Realize Our Spiritual Condition
In order to overcome lukewarmness, we also have to realize our spiritual condition. According to Revelation 3:17, the condition of those in Laodicea was wretched (because of the pride and boast of vanity), miserable (because of poverty, nakedness, and blindness), poor (in the experience of Christ and in the reality of God’s economy), blind (lacking spiritual insight in the genuine spiritual things), and naked (without the covering of Christ as the subjective righteousness). We have to realize our spiritual condition and have a new start in our spiritual life.
C. To Buy at a Cost Gold, White Garments, and Eyesalve
Buying requires the paying of a price. The degraded recovered church must pay a price for gold, white garments, and eyesalve, which she desperately needs (Rev. 3:18).
1. Refined Gold, Signifying the Living Faith
We need to buy the refined gold, which signifies the living faith (1 Pet. 1:7) for the gaining of the Triune God embodied in Christ as the pure gold (Exo. 25:11), that we may be the pure golden lampstand (Rev. 1:20) for the building of the golden New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:18) to make us truly rich. Our living faith is gold, and this very Christ embodying God is also gold. Actually, our faith and Christ are one, so they are the same gold.
In the New Testament, our faith, the living faith, is a person, and that person is Christ. This is why we have to look unto Him, pray to Him, have fellowship with Him, and read His Word. The more we read His Word and listen to His word, the more the living Christ will be inwardly unveiled to us, and this inward Christ will be the spontaneous faith to us. Faith is not a mere action but a living person, living in us and acting in us. The living faith which is Christ Himself is the gold which we have to buy.
2. White Garments, Signifying Christ Lived Out of Us as Our Subjective Righteousness to Cover Our Nakedness
We also need to buy white garments, signifying Christ lived out of us as our subjective righteousness to cover our nakedness. How much do we have Christ as our subjective righteousness, which is Christ Himself living out from within us? We all have to confess our shortcoming in this matter. We need the Lord Himself lived out of us as our white garments for the covering of our nakedness.
3. Eyesalve, Signifying the Anointing Life-giving Spirit, That We May Have the Sight to See the Divine and Spiritual Things for the Healing of Our Spiritual Blindness
We also need to buy the eyesalve, signifying the anointing life-giving Spirit (1 John 2:27; 1 Cor. 15:45b). This is so that we may have the sight to see the divine and spiritual things for the healing of our spiritual blindness. All of us need to pay the price for these three things: the refined gold, the white garments, and the eyesalve.
(The Overcomers, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)