Burden of the Lord
Wade E Taylor
In the book of Revelation, chapters two and three, seven
Churches are listed in progressive order. These Churches span
the entire Church age.
The first, the church of Ephesus, received a corrective word
that they had left their first love. They had experienced
the initial zeal and power of the early Apostles who had seen
the resurrected Christ, but had failed to maintain it. However,
they were commended because they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans,
whom the Lord said He also hated.
The gradual development of these "Nicolaitans"
is chronicled until in the Church of Thyatira, they were in
control. This term speaks of a clergy who ruled over and exploited
the people, rather than lifting them into the presence of
the Lord to guide them as a shepherd leads his sheep.
This led to a falling away from the leadership of the Holy
Spirit and the structuring of the Church under the control
of man, until it came to its fullness in the dark ages. Finally,
through Martin Luther, a spark of revelation came and the
Church began to be set free from bondage.
Then followed a progressive restoration which led through
the Churches at Sardis, Philadelphia, and the seventh and
last Church, Laodicia. We are presently living in the time
of this Church.
The Word of the Lord to the Laodician Church was, "Because
thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have
need of nothing" Rev 3:17a. We are living in a time of
relative prosperity, when possessions are considered to be
a sign of the Lord's blessing. Also, there is a spiritual
aspect to this prosperity as there is an abundance of gifted
ministries in the Church.
As with the first Church, there is a similar present day
problem. Christians today are basically satisfied with the
level of spirituality to which they have attained. Their testimony
was that they "have need of nothing" (see Rev 3:17a.)
The root of this problem is in our being satisfied with the
things of God, while the God of these things is outside, knocking
on the door of our heart, seeking to make Himself known to
us. Therefore, His call in this hour is to the individual,
"If any man hear my voice and open the door."
A promise for those who overcome is given to each of these
seven Churches. In each of these, there were individuals who
rose above the problems of that Church and overcame. To the
seventh Church, the overcoming promise is perhaps the greatest
promise of all because the pressures that are faced today
are so much greater; it is far easier to compromise and go
the way of popularity.
But there are those who will heed the quiet knock upon the
door of their heart, and rise above these things to sit with
the Lord in His Throne. This is an end-time promise to partake
with Him in the closing out of this age and in the birthing
of the Kingdom age.
The Lord is seeking out a people in this day who will cultivate
the hearing of His voice and come apart to spend time with
Him in His presence.
This is difficult because there are so many temporal things
to occupy our attention, and these things will dull our spirits
and rob us of our sensitivity to His voice. Thus, it is important
that we recognize that television is a primary means of producing
this spiritual dullness.
I might ask, "do you intend to become an overcomer?"
If your answer is yes, then I have caused a problem for you.
This is because we cannot become an overcomer unless we have
something to overcome. So, our very desire to overcome will
cause increased problems in our lives. Rightly seen, this
is a blessing, for now we have the necessary opportunity to
When a child is born, the pain of the birthing process is
intense. But soon afterwards, when the baby is brought to
the mother, she quickly forgets any pain, as the reward is
greater than the pain.
"Doth the plowman plow all day to sow?" Isa 28:24a.
The Lord only works upon us until we are ready to receive
all that He has in reserve for us. We can trust His judgment
and fully place our lives in His hands.
We are living in the time of the seventh Church. There are
among us those who are "rich and increased in goods,
having need of nothing." But along with these are those
who are pressing onward, being made ready for the day that
is just before us. May we be among the latter.