Thursday, September 4, 2014
The Message to Philadelphia
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-8)
To the pastor of Philadelphia, the Lord introduces himself as the holy one and the true one. Hebrews 7:26 says he was holy, while in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He is the very basis of everything for the church, and he holds the key by which people have access to heaven. As John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” He was the very one the church in Sardis had neglected.
The Lord knew this church and what they were doing as well. God had set an open door of opportunity before them that no human force could close because, while they were not very strong or big, they had been obedient to his word and stayed true to the faith.
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” (Revelation 3:9)
Romans 2:28-29 states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” The Lord says he will show that those who are merely going through the motions of serving God are actually serving Satan. They will be forced to come and acknowledge that God loved the church.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:10-11)
Because the church has faithfully followed his word even when it seemed to have no effect or impact, God will protect them from the time of temptation when everyone else is tempted to see whether they will stand for Christ. Literally they will be protected during the tribulation period because they have already demonstrated their faithfulness to God. They need to be aware tha the Lord’s coming will be unexpected and continue what they are doing to keep from missing out ton the rewards they have earned.
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Revelation 3:12)
Those who do not succumb to the temptation to go along with the rest of the Christiandom will become some of its main supports or pillars, no longer tempted to back into the world. They will be clearly identified as belonging to God and having a part in New Jerusalem, the city which God will build.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:13)
For the sixth time we are reminded to heed what the Spirit warned the churches about.