The Church Of Philadelphia
Revelation 3:7 "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."
This is the one that pertains the most to us because we're living in those days when this prophetic scripture, starting w/ that local church in Philadelphia in Asia, will be fulfilled Spiritually.
The description of this age is found in verses 7-13. So we are living in this Philadelphia church which corresponds roughly to the Pentecostal outpouring in the 20th century around 1900 or 1901 to the Rapture. It's impossible to fix the closing date of this church age exactly because no man knoweth the day nor the hour of the rapture.
There is some overlap in this church age from the previous one, Sardis. We see that because there were great revivals later in this Sardis Reformation church age: the great awakening w/ Whitfield and Edwards and John Wesley in England and there were mightily evangelistic thrusts through Charles Finney and Moody in the 1800's. But the reason we would restrict this Philadelphia church age to the Pentecostal days is because of the implications.
Philadelphia means, "the love of the brethren." The outpouring of the Holy Spirit we find is what brings that unity of the Spirit and moves us toward that unity of the faith among the brethren.
Whereas the previous revivals, in a way, were more along the lines of still coming out and restoring the truth that was lost, which we are still doing today. But we find that it is in these days that we're living in that God promises he's going to perfect his church and bring us to the unity of the faith.
So we're somewhere in the midst of this Philadelphia church age. Part of it is past and part of it is yet to come, so these admonitions here are full of truth for us right now.
"Philadelphia" means "brotherly love." There are many references to brotherly love in the N.T. A few are: Rom.12:10; 1 Thess.4:9; Heb.13:1; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Peter 1:7; Rev.1:11;3:7.
So prophetically the marks of this age are a love for your brethren and a tolerance for them, if they're truly God's children, to love them in spite of the fact that you don't believe 100% the same way. But yet you realize that God is working on his church and you love your brethren and you're patient w/ them. That's a mark of this church age.
Another mark of it is unity. There's considerable disunity even among God's Spirit-filled saints in these days, and yet, he promises us he'll bring us into the unity of the faith.
We also find zeal for revival and for winning souls to be a mark of this church age.
"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;"
The Revelation of Jesus to us in these days is
1. He that is holy.
2. He that is true.
3. He that hath the key of David.
4. He that openeth and no man shutteth.
5. He that shutteth and no man openeth.
If there's any Revelation we need of Jesus in these days, it's as He that is holy. He's calling a people who will walk holy before him and who will live in the separation in their hearts from the things of this world and form the temptations that are rampant in the world.
He says, "I am holy. I am revealing myself to you as he that is holy. Hebrews 12:14 tells us to follow peace w/ all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. I am holy and therefore you shall be holy. Holiness = separation-- above and apart from man-- becoming like God through Jesus Christ who is the image of the invisible God-- living in heavenly places w/ Christ Jesus.
"He that is true."
True here doesn't just mean the opposite of false. It means more than that. ALETHONOS -- he that is real; he that is substantial. It's the opposite of that which is symbolic or incomplete or typological.
He's saying I am he that is real. I am the fulfillment of all of the promises of God. I am the fulfillment of everything that was written in types and shadows in the O.T. I am the real thing. For example, under Moses the O.T. saints ate manna which came from heaven but in John 6:48-51, Jesus said, "I am the manna from heaven. That manna only pointed to me. Your fathers ate manna in the desert, but they're dead. But he that partakes of me shall live forever.
That's the real life. That's the eternal unfading life of which that wilderness experience was only a dim shadow. I am that living bread, he said.
Now Israel was called a vine in Isa.5:1-7, but Jesus says I am the true vine in John 15:1-5. I am the true source of life, and if you connect into me, you'll find that true life.
Concerning him that is real, read 1 John 5:20. That is the same Greek word-- he that is true and substantial and real. That's who we are in. In other words, if you're in Jesus you know what reality is. Before that time, you didn't really know what reality was. You were walking around in a natural realm that's changing and fading and being manipulated; always from day to day changing. But then you come in contact w/ him that is real and you enter an eternal realm at that point. So we find that Jesus fulfilled all the types and shadows of the O.T., and he's looking for holiness and truth in his people. He says I'm real, I want you to be real. I want you to be honest before me. I want you to, as it were, be real because that's my Revelation to you.
"He that hath the key of David"
A key shows authority to come in and go out. If you have the key you can go in and can go out whenever you want just by using the key. So the key shows power and authority over a certain house or over whatever building it is that you have the key to. Notice: Key, singular-- Christ. He's the key of David.
He says that this is the key of David. So he has the authority of the house of David. God promised David that he would raise up a king from his loins who would have an eternal kingdom and Jesus is the one that has this authority to take David's kingdom and bring it to it's fulness
(2 Samuel 7:13).
Isa.22:20-23, Eliakim. (Read)-- God lays this key on his shoulder and is a typological picture of Jesus Christ. So Eliakim means "God will establish" and this kingdom that's being built even in our day, this Spiritual kingdom, is a work of God. It's a work that he's going to establish. And if God opens the door, no man is going to shut it.
Eliakim, servant of Hezekiah was a type of Jesus Christ and the key laid upon his shoulder corresponds to the fact that in Isa.9:6, God said of Jesus Christ that the government of the whole kingdom of God will be his responsibility.
The key is also the key to the gate of the city of David and therefore is the key to the entrance to the throne of David. Now Jesus is that greater David. Jesus is the king which David only looked forward to, Jer.30:9;Eze.34:23;37:24,25 shows us this truth.
Rev.1:18, Jesus says "I have the keys of death and of hell or hades. Now the key to this Davidic kingdom shows that Jesus has the authority over God's whole kingdom on earth because God promised David a kingdom on this earth, and so Jesus has this key and the authority of this kingdom (Matt.28:18).
And also in the church, in God's Spiritual kingdom, we see that Jesus has the authority to establish a Theocracy, a rule by God is a theocratic kingdom, which is going to expand and grow and multiply in this Philadelphia church age. And which is going to be blessed and is going to become Spiritually powerful. Even in the face of enemies, God is going to bring a revival in these last days.
That is comparable to when David established his kingdom. And it tells there that there were many enemies round about them and that he had to subdue these enemies. Now I don't mean that we're going to go out and fight war w/ people. But I mean that this kingdom of God that is rising in these last days, this church that is being brought to perfection unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ and to the unity of the faith, is going to rise and grow and become strong in the midst of heavy opposition that comes from demonic attacks and growing pressure of the world system that's building around us. But God says don't worry, I have set before you an open door. I have this key, no man can shut the door. I'm going to complete my kingdom, my Spiritual kingdom in the church. And I'm going to catch you away. No man's going to close that door either. And this Davidic kingdom, in the Spirit, is going to be established because I have the key of David.
Also Jesus has the key to the intimate position that David had w/ God. God said of David, "He is a man after my own heart and how much more Jesus Christ was a man after God's heart. David means "beloved." And when Jesus came down to the river Jordan, the Father said, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased." Jesus was a man perfectly after God's own heart. So that's why he reveals himself to us in this way. He says I want you to be after my own heart. I want you to become like me, and this key of David will be yours too. You'll have the same authority because you're in me.
Historical background of Philadelphia-- see end of study.
Revelation 3:8 "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."
This shows the condition of the church.
As far as the condition of the church, this local church in Asia, in John's day, was a church that was faithful to God's word. They were faithful to teach it and faithful to believe it and walk in it. They had a heart to believe God's word and whatever it said is what they wanted to believe. And not only to believe it, they also were a diligent church and diligent to minister for him and to walk according to his word.
Jesus said nothing negative to the church of Philadelphia. Now he did give them admonitions that negative things could happen to them if they didn't watch. But on the whole, he gave them glorious promises. We're living in the church age when the glorious promises of God are going to be fulfilled.
"Behold, I have set before thee an open door."
Literally, "I have given in your sight an open door." I have given this door and you can see it, it's right in sight.
The open door-- Acts 14:27. There was a door open to preach the gospel to the Gentles and that was this open door. And Jesus said in Matt.24:14, that this gospel of the kingdom shall first be preached in all nations for a witness unto them and then the end shall come (1 Cor.16:9;
So Jesus promised that the gospel was going to be fully preached throughout the world and that door is open, and God says it's going to be accomplished and no man shall shut the door. So this is an open door of ministry.
Why has he set this open door?-- "For thou hast a little strength."
I'm going to give you this open door because you have a little strength. He's not saying that you're weak. He means that compared to this world government system that is building around you, in the natural, you appear to have little strength. There's nothing you can do about these things, really, except pray and trust me. In the eyes of the world, you have little strength and there are few of you compared to this vast world system around you.
Also, there are few of you compared to the whole church at large which names my name. Now you have a little strength, and he says that's good. My church has not always had the amount of strength you have. This strength here is power-- the Greek is dunamis. You have a little power. I see some dynamic power in you and among you.
Acts 1:8, So in this church age when the Spirit is poured out, he says, you have some power.
1 Cor.12:10 Talks about the gift of miracles and literally that's powers-- dunamis. There's a gift of powers.
2 Cor.12:9 and 18, God's strength or power is perfected in weakness. His power is released through people who recognize that they are weak, so this little strength is a precious, precious commodity to God. It's his hope in this church age, because he is able to multiply this strength, he is able to make it effectual. He is able to take the things which aren't strong to confound the things that are. Things which appear little and despised, God will use gloriously.
Luke 12:32, read. And Jesus would say to us in this day, "Fear not, little flock; though the whole world seems to be going the other way, and if the whole church seems to be going the other way." It's saying, I'm out of control, but Jesus says, I'm in control. I'm going to get glory for my name. Trust in me and just do what I tell you to do. That's all he's asking. His commandments aren't grievous.
The second reason why he has set this open door is "For thou hath kept my word" -- for thou hath kept my logos.
John 17:6, Jesus said that his apostles had kept his word. John 6:63, keeping this Word means keeping the living Word of God. In other words, becoming those living epistles. It doesn't mean you'll memorize all the Bible, although memorizing scripture is a good thing. But he means, you have imbibed my word. You have let it become a part of you. You've fastened yourself onto it until your identity begins to be lost in that word and you become the Word of God, and become the expression of God to this world. You've kept it zealously.
The 3rd reason for this open door: "Thou hast not denied my name."
So there are those in this day who are going to be willing to identify with Jesus. Those who are not going to be willing to identify with him in all of his reproaches, in all of his persecution, will lose that position. Jesus said the servant is not greater than his master. If they've persecuted me, they'll persecute you.
There's going to be a cost that we'll have to pay in the last days; persecution, and perhaps the greatest pain in our hearts will come not from the persecution of the world because we expect that, but from our brethren. That will be the hardest thing for men of God to take in the last days. Their own brethren whom they love and desire to help and minister to and bring truth to, rejecting them as though they were heretics or from the devil. Remember they (the religious people) thought that Jesus was from the devil. That's a hard thing to take when you have an intense heart for God's people.
So God opens this door of ministry to the Philadelphia church because they have a little power and kept His Word and did not deny His name.
Revelation 3:9 "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."
I will make them come-- this shows a certainty that they shall come. At the great white throne Judgment there is an acknowledgment before God. All mankind is shown how they have lived in their hearts. All things are fully exposed to all people. All who repent before the Rapture of being in this false position before God; they too will come and acknowledge that God has had his true people and they will come and submit themselves and join themselves to the true church of God.
I will make them to worship before thy feet. It doesn't mean that Christians will receive worship but that He will make them to bow down to do homage, to acknowledge the true Christians in a reverential way. Some will be in a higher position than others. Some will rule over 10 cities and some will rule over 5 cities and so on.
To know that I have loved thee-- literally to know that I loved you all along because you were walking in my way and truth.
Hosea 2:19-23 shows the true Israel of God, His betrothed. The one he has loved. This prophecy is fulfilled in the true Jews in Christ. There is a synagogue of Satan but they will acknowledge you, because you are the true synagogue, the spiritual Jews, the true Israel of God. Because you have been circumcised and you have cut off the flesh and world from your lives. I will cause them to acknowledge this. You will be vindicated although all men cast you out during your ministry.
Revelation 3:10 "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."
He gives a glorious promise-- The promise of the Rapture.
We see that there are two keeps involved here
1.) You have fulfilled your part of the covenant in keeping my Word, so now I will
2.) Keep you.
This word keep is to keep securely. At times it is used as men being kept in a prison so as not to escape. To securely hold and keep them. The Lord will also securely hold and keep those following Him, totally out of the hour of tribulation.
Acts 4:3, The same Greek word is translated "hold."
Acts 5:18 Where Peter is put into a common prison. The same Greek word is here--- a public keep. Common = keep, here. So he will keep us securely out of the hour of tribulation.
This promise to Philadelphia is significant that he says BECAUSE, for this reason, you've done something and this is the reason that I'm going to keep you out, for this reason--that you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee.
There are 2 sides to a covenant: A covenant is an agreement and He says you've kept and therefore I will keep you. You have kept the word of my patience. You've kept the word-- the logos-- you've kept both the inward thought and concept and the reason of my patience and you've also kept the outward expression that that thought represents. You've kept my word in your heart and mind and you've been willing to live in my word and not just be hearers of the word, but doers also as the book of James says. Therefore you've become something-- by keeping my word in patience and endurance something has been produced in you.
Because you have kept the truth of my word and all that my word represents, me and my nature, in your heart and mind and because you also allow that word to be expressed through your life, you've become what I want you to be.
This is the truth that's shown here by keeping the word of my patience. He that endureth to the end shall be saved. Jesus said-- in your patience you possess your souls. That means you possess them in eternal life. Because you have kept the word of my patience, I will keep you out of this tribulation.
Is this promise given to the whole born again church? The answer is no
Revelation 12:1-5 shows us that the church at large in this period, the last days that we are living in, is in labor and travail.
Revelation 12:5, another group comes forth from this church. It comes out of the visible church. This particular group has been prepared to do a particular work. The woman bares the manchild. The woman = the born again church, Eph.5:32.
It can't be the whole church that is given these promises here because we find in other scriptures that there will be a great apostasy in the last days (2 Thess. 2), a great falling away. You can't truly fall away unless you were truly there, unless you were a true Christian. God is cautioning us that many true saints will fall away and loose their position. If you keep God's Word, He will keep you out-- conditional-- not all the church is keeping His Word.
There will be a false world church also that those who fall away will be a part of. So he's not talking to the whole church. Who is he talking to?
Isaiah gives us more light, Isa.66:5-8. We find the church Zion (Psa.132:13-18;Heb.12:22) brings forth children-- plural-- in the last days. Your brethren cast you out for My names sake, but I will appear to your joy (John 16:1-5,19-24). How do we know that Isaiah is speaking of the same period of time as we are dealing with in the Philadelphia church age? The main reason we know that is because Isaiah says he shall appear to your joy, and this corresponds to Jesus' coming for His church-- the Rapture. This corresponds to the time we will be kept out of the hour of tribulation. This is when Jesus will appear to us.
The reason our brethren (other Christians) cast us out is for the same reason that Jesus commends the Philadelphia church, because you have kept My name (speaking of His nature) and My Word. It's for His name and His Word's sake that the brethren cast you out, John 16:21,22 read. This is another parallel passage of the same truth that Jesus will appear to our joy. This is all talking about the very time we live in today. (For more details on the manchild, see the study on prophetic events).
To whom shall he appear to their joy
Those who have kept His name-- the truth of His name-- that God is one and His name is Jesus. Hebrews 9:28, He shall appear to them that look for Him. He won't appear to those who aren't looking for Him, but to those that are looking for Him shall he appear a 2nd time without sin unto salvation. (Also read Titus 2:13-15).
Revelation 12:10, when the manchild is caught up, now is come salvation (this will be our joy). Now is come that full salvation that can't be contested.
Luke 21:36, He will appear to those who watch and pray. Shake sleep so you can be counted worthy to escape those things that shall come to pass and stand before the son of man.
That's what's promised to Philadelphia, to escape the hour of trial. This hour of trial is a time of tribulation that's like never before. This is what we are promised to escape, if we hold fast His name and His truth.
This keeping out of the great hour of the trial is pictured in Isaiah 26:19,20 Read. The inhabitants of the earth have not fallen in surrender to God. The church has labored, but the revival that God is seeking has not come. But, it will come in the last days.
God answers: Thy dead shall live. The weak and fragmented body of Christ will arise in the last days. Ezekiel had a vision of this in Chapter 37 where he saw a valley full of dry bones, and as God began to move on these bones, they came together, flesh come upon them and the Spirit of life was breathed into them. It said they stood up as an exceedingly great army. This is what God is going to do in His body. He promises, hide thyself in thy chambers until this hour of trial is past (Isa.26:20; Psa.27:5). This is that same promise of being kept out of that hour of trial.
"I also will keep thee from the hour of trial." There's an emphasis here in the Greek. "I myself" will keep you from this hour of trial. The pronoun is emphasized because there is a pronoun there, and you don't need a pronoun in the Greek because that's covered in the form of the verb. But when the pronoun is added, it emphasizes it even more strongly. I myself and no other, so to speak, will keep you.
He says I will keep you from the hour of trial. From is a Greek word "EK" like exit. There will be a great exit. EK means out of. EK is specialized because it not only means I will keep you from it, but I will keep you out of it. From in the Greek is "APO." I will keep you out of the hour of the trial. EK means you will not be here during the trial... He does not say I will keep you in the hour or through the hour as some have tried to make this mean, because we're not on earth during the hour-- we're out of the hour. It means out of, and we have to be gone when the hour comes in order to be out of the hour.
I will keep thee from "the hour" So there's an hour. We will describe in more detail what this hour is. "Hour" = "hora"-- Vine's definition says it is either literally an hour or else more generally a designated period of time.
So Jesus is saying, I'm going to keep you out of a certain designated period of time. This ties directly into Rev.17:3, read. So there are 7 heads. This is in the time of that 7th world government. And there are 10 horns, and who are those 10 horns? Well, in Rev.17:9 we find out, read. So 5 empires had fallen by John's day-- 1 was, the Roman Empire; and 1 was yet to come, and when he comes he must continue a short space.
He says I will keep you out of THIS HOUR. I will keep you out of this particular time of trial.
Concerning this hour, the same Greek word is used in Revelation 17:12 where you find the 10 horns, the 10 men who reign as kings in the last days which have received no kingdom as yet. So they're not kings as we see them on the world scene today. They've received no kingdom as yet, but they receive power as kings one hour with the beast. They are 10 men, not 10 nations. It could possibly be 10 powerful men that rule without a kingdom, instead of 10 nations as most teach. They are given power to reign 1 hour with the beast and this corresponds to the antichrist reign, and this hour is what we're talking about being kept out of.
Revelation 13:5 says that this hour is the 42 month reign of the antichrist.
Revelation 12:6 shows that it's a time of tribulation upon the earth.
The hour of trial here is temptation, an hour of temptation-- a time when men are going to be tempted as never before. It's-- THE hour of trial. THE hour of THE trial-- literally.
As seen in Luke 21:36, Jesus said-- watch and pray that you might be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass. He's talking about this very hour. Jesus says that this hour of trial is coming upon all the world to try or tempt them that dwell upon the earth. So everyone who dwells upon the earth will be tempted in this hour.
Now back in Revelation 17:13, read. We find an interesting thing in Chapter 12 concerning the time that these 10 men begin to ban together and give their power to the antichrist and reign with him; they've banded together before, but they reign now.
Revelation 12:3, this is before the Rapture because in verse 5 the manchild is caught up. In verse 3, 7 crowns upon his heads shows us that that 7th world government has been crowned. So it is the time of the world government, but at this time, you don't see any crowns upon the 10 horns in this verse. Then the manchild is caught up. The woman flees into the wilderness for 1260 days, and now in chapter 13, we have another view of this Tribulation period of 3 ½ years.
We find there in 13:1, read, this other view. So now the horns are crowned. This is that hour that they are reigning with the beast, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. You find here that this chapter describes the Tribulation with the mark of the beast and the saints giving their lives, so that is parallel to this hour in Rev.3:10 that we're going to be kept out of.
Rev.13:1 corresponds to Laodicea. Chapt. 13 is a picture of the Tribulation from the point of view of the antichrist and the false prophet and their work. The 10 horns are crowned, so this shows that this is that hour referred to in chapter 17:12.
Other pictures of this time of Laodicea are found in Rev. chapter 6. This shows the Tribulation from the point of view of the saints who are in it. It shows also the seals being opened and the different judgments beginning to be poured out upon the earth.
Rev. 6:8-11 shows the Tribulation martyrs finishing their course and the ones who have already given their life cry out, How long, O Lord, holy and true. Doest thou not avenge our blood upon them that dwell on the earth? The Lord says, "Wait for a season until the rest of the brethren are killed."
Chapter 11, now here we see the Tribulation from the stand point of the church, and here the Tribulation saints are shown again under a different symbol-- the symbol of two witnesses. This shows the ministry, death, and resurrection of the 2 witnesses, and it's a picture of the Tribulation saints.
The saints who miss the Rapture are going to be tried that they might come forth as gold by paying the full price and being willing to lay their lives down for Jesus (Rev.13:5). Now back to chapt. 11, the sinners of the world are tempted and tried that they might show forth their true nature by the decisions they make, and that they might therefore become fit candidates for judgment. The true nature of both is revealed by their decisions during this time of great test. (Rev.7:14, these are they which came out of the great Tribulation, Rev.13:5-7).
They came out of the great Tribulation. In the Greek, the definite article the Great Tribulation is used. They come "EK" out of the great Tribulation. The ones who keep the word of His patience are kept "EK" out of the great Tribulation. So the Philadelphia church is kept out of the great Tribulation, and the Tribulation saints (the Laodicea church) comes out of the great Tribulation.
So to be kept out of this hour, we must leave in order to avoid it. For the trial will come upon the whole earth, and the only way to escape that hour is to be off the earth. The language here is in such a way that there's no other interpretation, no other way to take this but to be gone. This is one of the strongest Rapture proofs in the scripture, and we also find here that one group of saints is Raptured up and there's another one left, because we still have another church age that we haven't gone into (the Laodicea church age).
Things involved in keeping the word of his patience: Revelation 3:10
1.) Heedfulness -- a heedful attitude keeping awake, Luke 21:28-34. So he is saying when you see these prophetic signs begin to come about, then be heedful, look up and lift up your heads and don't go on as others, saying all things continue as they have and they always will. But look up and be expectant. V.34- take heed-- don't allow the cares of this material life and the blessings of prosperity and the cares; Rotherham-- the cares of this life; cares concerning livelihood-- how to make a living, don't allow these things to steal away your heedfulness.
2.) Keeping spiritually awake: 1 Thess.5:4-6-- don't be like the others who are asleep and find the day of the Lord coming upon them as a thief, but you be watchful; you don't have to be surprised by these things if you are awake and looking toward me.
Luke 21:36, watch ye therefore, the literal word is be keeping awake or be shaking sleep. When you find sleep coming upon you, shake yourself. Wake up! Be keeping spiritually awake and don't allow that deception to come on you.
3.) To be praying always that we might be accounted worthy to escape: Luke 21:36 Literally, pray always that you might gain sufficient strength to flee out, to escape out. EKFUGO-- to flee out.
So having gained the prerequisite, spiritual strength is necessary in order to escape. Strength is gained through spiritual exercise. Through decisions which are then tested and they became stronger. Through living in the spirit and through falling in love w/ him who is our strength. As we answer the call to surrender over areas of our life to him, were praying that we might gain sufficient strength to escape.
4.) Endurance: Matthew 24:13
5.) Expecting His return: You have to expect His return if you want to take part in it. Hebrews 9:28
6.) Loving His return: You can't expect it as a threat; you have to expect it and love it, because your heart is getting ready all the time, 2 Tim.4:8 and Song of Solomon 8:13,14.
7.) Trusting fully in God: Committing our way to him, 2 Tim.4:18-- an attitude of trust as times get darker.
8.) Living with His return in view: We must live in an attitude that Jesus is coming back soon and all things shall not continue as they were, Titus 2:13-- believing with that expectation in view. Titus 2:11-13.
9.) Take the armor of God and fight the good fight in His strength: Ephesians 6:13 and
1 Tim.6:12-16, read. Keep this commandment-- that is to fight the good fight.
10.) Longing for and being in love with Jesus: That's a necessity to be in the Raptured company. Song of Solomon 1:2-7-- she's longing for him alone. Song of Sol. 2:5,8 shows excitement and 3:1-4 concerned that she find him. We need to do all we can to find Jesus.
11.) Yielding to His drawing: If he draws us, we have to do more than feel good that He's drawing us, we have to yield to do what He wants us to do and to allow Him to break down the barriers that are in our lives. Song of Solomon 2:4, he brought her but in order to come there, she had to be willing to be brought. Song of Sol. 5:6-8, she opened to her beloved, but she opened up too late and he had withdrawn himself. But then, it caused her to run out and seek him and yield to that drawing, and she did find her lover.
12.) Living hidden in Jesus: Living a life that is hidden away in Jesus. Song of Solomon 2:14 where Christ says to his church (in type), read. See she's hidden away in him. Col.3:1-3 is directly parallel with this bride being hidden away.
13.) Taking care of problems in your life: Song of Solomon 2:15. Col.3:5-8 answers to this in the N.T. You've taken these little foxes and driven them out of your vineyard of your life.
14.) Knowing Him: Song of Solomon 5:9-16. Daughters of Jerusalem ask-- and she knows him and can describe him. Each one of the descriptions is typological. Phil. 3:10,11 is parallel-- Read.
15.) Becoming the one whom He wants to take toward Himself: Will cause you to be taken, because his heart is delighted in you and he can't help but take you. Song of Solomon 1:15, he's pleased with her. Chapter 4:7;6:4,5, it is a bride who is an army with banners. Thy eyes have overcome me-- isn't that amazing that Jesus would say that to us. You know, the altogether lovely one, for thou hast over come me. So he's pleased with the way she looks. Chapter 6:8,9, she had a spiritual beauty. Also read Chapter 7:6,7.
Rev.4:11, This bride is the one that yields and fully opens herself up to him to fully be for His pleasure.
Song of Solomon 7:7, She's grown up, like a palm tree and comes to the full stature of Christ, and that pleases him. Also read Chapter 7:10;6:12,13-- He couldn't stand it any more and he took his beloved to be with him, for she was ready. Also read Chapter 8:10, she had come to full maturity. Breasts (in type) = spiritual maturity-- able to feed new born baby Christians.
16.) Hearing His call: Song of Solomon 2:10-13. Read Revelation 3:13;22:17-- heeding that call.
17.) Trusting in His strength: Song of Solomon 8:5;Phil.1:6, so lean on his strength. 1 Peter 5:10, after we've suffered for a while, we'll come to a position of strength in him by leaning on him. Jude 24,25;Phil.4:13;Col.1:11.
18.) Growing into perfection in Christ: Song of Solomon 4:7; Eph.5:24; Eph.4:13 that perfect man, it's a process of growing in him.
19.) Diligence and perseverance in God: Hebrews 6:11,12 and 2 Peter 3:11-14.
20.) Keeping the Word of His patience involves our whole relationship with Him and how we value His Word: Rev.3:10, "You have kept the word of my patience." It's His patience; the word of Jesus' patience that we're keeping. It's his patience within us, by his strength.
This "word" = the truth of God that produces the patience in us to endure in the last days and to stand. It's the realization that God has a plan to fulfill in our lives that gives us patience.
There's a Revelation when you understand Jesus and who He is, and what His plan is; to perfect a bride and to make us like Himself. The plan of God begins to make sense and you begin to understand His heart, and therefore it causes you to endure and have patience, because you realize that there's a God who is powerful and has a plan to fulfill and is able to do it. And that He is working in your life, and you get that Revelation in your heart and it causes you to be patient and to endure and to walk on w/ Him knowing that He's having His way in your life.
So we realize when we know His plan and heart, that the seeming delay of His coming is no delay at all. It's because He is working in us to produce the perfect man.
2 Peter 3:15-- So we're supposed to account that His long-suffering is our salvation. It's to work our experiential salvation. This is the opposite of the attitude that is expressed in Matt.24:45-51, read. So this servant didn't account that the long-suffering of God was our salvation. He began to say, "My Lord delays His coming, so I can begin to do what I want to do to satisfy myself." That's the opposite of keeping the word of His patience.
When we realize that there's not just an any- minute- doctrine of any minute now Jesus could come and snatch us away, we can have a vision of reaching forward towards that perfected church that God's heart desires. And when we have the vision to run the race and finish our course like Paul did and keep the faith and become fully perfected and mature in Him, that gives us vision and hope.
21.) Have a vision of running and finishing the race: It's not just, "Yes, we're all going; might as well relax." But rather it's a hope like Paul says, "I press toward the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ." It's a vision of running the race and finishing our course even as Jesus did, John 17:4. So he ran that race perfectly. He had finished the work and had glorified the Father. And so there's a vision of pressing forward that we have in Christ, and we're to run our race even as Paul & Jesus did.
2 Tim.4:6-8, read. And so we too will finish our course, if we keep the word of his patience.
Scriptures concerning our race: Hebrews 6:12;10:36. You have need of patience that you might be diligent unto the end not having run most of the way and then dropping out of the race. But keep that patience before God in the last days no matter what happens or what things are going on around you, or how many people are turning against you or how things look, or whether your ministry seems to be successful or a failure. Keep the word of his patience; that you might get the prize.
22.) It is God's patience within us: James 5:7,8;Rev.1:9. And so it was the patience of Jesus Christ who endured, as it says in Hebrews, much contradiction of sinners against himself, and we need to realize that lest we would faint in our minds and grow weary. As the writer of Hebrews says, "You have not yet striven unto blood striving against sin." Have patience and take the patience of God into your heart.
23.) Faith in the Rapture: Heb.11:5;Rev.12:5;Rev.3:10 and 1 Thess.4:16-18.
Reasons Why The Philadelphia Church Age Is Not Passed But Still Here
1.) Not every church is declining and lukewarm.
2.) God's plan is not going to end w/ a defeated lukewarm church slipping out the back door. Eph.5:27-32, read. God is going to have a glorious church, His bride. 2 Tim.4:8, read-- crown of righteousness that the Lord shall give unto all them that love his appearing.
3.) Rev.3:10, The Rapture has not yet happened.
4.) Contradicts all scripture on prophecy: Joel 2:23 the latter rain has not yet come. James 5:7,8, this is before the Rapture. It's not going to fall on a lukewarm, non caring church. Haggai 2:9, the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former -- it shall be greater than Pentecost. It's not going to be on the lukewarm church.
5.) Rev.12:5, We see the manchild-- a great army of saints yet to be manifested.
Revelation 3:11 "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."
Behold is omitted in the original language. He says I come quickly. This "I come quickly" ties right in with the previous verse which talks about keeping us from the hour of trial. So Jesus is going to come and take us out, because 1 Thess. 4 tells us that the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and then we will rise to meet him in the air. So there's a coming parusia of Jesus when he will come and take his own out. Quickly-- with speed. Coming speedily is an encouragement to those that are keeping his name and not denying His Word.
So what must be done? Hold that fast which thou hast that no man take thy crown.
This is all in the continuing action; be holding that fast which you are possessing at this time-- keep possessing it. Mark 13:22,23 says there will be evil men, so hold fast that no man take your crown because there are going to be men that are going to try to steal away your reward.
Of course no man, in the primary sense, refers to the antichrist. Hold fast to that which you have lest you be left to go through the great tribulation and fall there in weakness and the antichrist steal away your crown, because the antichrist is going to make war upon the saints. The Bible says it is given unto him to overcome them, and those that don't take his mark are going to loose their lives. So he is saying don't fall, don't loose your reward, don't fall from your steadfastness, hold on and you'll receive your reward and no man will take your crown.
Crown here is STEPHANOS, it means a victors wreath. It's not a diadem in the Greek which is a kingly crown. But, it's a wreath of having won the race-- the athletic contest and receiving the victory.
That no man take thy crown. So this shows that they already have their crown. They're already in a position with him of walking in the victory. So don't let any man steal that position away from you. Claim it, fulfill it, believe it, keep holding onto my word and let nothing turn you aside from your love for me and from serving me.
Revelation 3:12 "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."
More of the reward is promised to the Philadelphia church. It says the overcomer will be made a pillar in the temple of my God
A pillar is a permanent structural member of that temple. It's a strong supporting element of that temple. It's a prominent graceful, visible, beautiful element. This is quite a promise.
1 Tim.3:15 says that the true church of God is the pillar and ground of the truth. The true people of God are those which support the truth of God so that it can be held up and others can come in and find shelter under that truth, because they are proclaiming it.
Galatians 2:9, Paul says that Peter and John and James seem to be pillars when he came to this council at Jerusalem-- they appear to be the strong ones who were the main strength and support in the church there.
1 Samuel 2:8 compares the saints of God to pillars. Now he says I will make this overcomer a pillar in the temple of my God.
The word temple here is a specialized word-- NAOS, it refers only to that inner intimate sanctuary where the glory of God in previous times came to dwell and where the priests came in to minister. Heron describes the whole temple enclosure including the courts. For instance, in Jerusalem the court with the brazen altar and everything within the temple walls. He says, I'm going to make you a pillar in the intimate part of my temple, in the part where I dwell, where my glory is fully shown. If you were out in the court of the temple, you were near to the presence of God but you couldn't see the glory of God in the same way that the high priest could when he went into the holy of holies on the day of atonement. But I'll make you an intimate member of my temple, he promises us.
And he shall go no more out. Literally, "He shall no wise go out anymore." The true man of God fears going out. There's a holy fear. We saw this in Job. Job said-- the thing which I feared has come upon me. He didn't mean just I'm going through pain and I greatly feared going through pain. He meant that he was going into a trial that was so heavy that he feared lest in a trial he would turn back and grow cold and turn away from God.
The true man of God fears anything that would turn him (in a balanced righteous way, he fears turning away from God).
The fact that Jesus says to this overcomer "he shall go no more out" is an indication that some time previously he did go out. Now how did those ones go out? Isaiah 66:5, "Your brethren cast you out for my name's sake. There was a departure, a separation that came. You had to leave the womb of the church and you had to stand separately. That's a hard thing, to be separated from your brethren. That's not just a minor little point. They had experienced this awful trial of rejection by their own brethren whom they loved and desired to bring the truth of God to set them free. They had been forced to stand alone to go out, to walk solitary if necessary for the sake of His name and the Revelation of that name. This is 1 aspect of the suffering the manchild will go through. Standing for the truth (no matter what!) sometimes is harder than physical persecution-- the manchild coming out and being separate from the church that is sleeping into tradition, etc..
So Jesus is saying don't worry if all around you are rejecting you and your message. I'm preparing an habitation for you that you will never be forced to leave. An eternal habitation in my intimate presence. This habitation that I'm preparing is you. You are the temple, you are the pillars. You are the building that I'm going to dwell in.
Isaiah 66:1,2-- Where is the place of my dwelling? Where is the house that you will build me? For all those things my hand made. But to this man will I look to him that is humble and contrite and trembles at my word. This is the dwelling place that God is looking for. So we are promised a permanent station in glory, a permanent position in the heavenlies in the intimate presence of God. Also read Psa.132:13-18; Eph.1:20-22.
He says that 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.
We will look at this in more detail. He says this name will be written upon the overcomer.
In the Bible, we see Jerusalem as
The capital of physical Israel throughout the O.T. This earthly Jerusalem is going to be the capital of God's kingdom on earth during the Millennium. And there the temple is, and the glory of God fills the temple and the truth of God begins to go out to all nations from Jerusalem. Israel becomes a glory among the nations.
We also see Jerusalem as God's holy bride-- as a heavenly Jerusalem, which is above and not this earthly city, but that glorious spiritual city to which the earthly city only pointed.
There are various scriptures to show the heavenly Jerusalem
Gal.4:22-26-- So there's a heavenly Jerusalem and those who are born according to the promise, who have come by faith, are citizens of that heavenly Jerusalem. It's a new covenant.
Heb.12:22-- So that's what we've come to in the spirit, the heavenly Jerusalem. So as we're faithful to keep the word of his patience, we will be someday in that new Jerusalem.
Isaiah 65:17-19-- I create a new heavens and a new earth, so it's beyond this realm that we live in today. This is just what it says in later chapters in Revelation that there is a heavenly Jerusalem and it's being created. God said, "Behold, I create Jerusalem." It's being created because it's not a city of buildings. It's a city made up of people-- saints joined and builded together. That city is being built even now.
Isaiah 62:1,2-- This is speaking of the church.
I will write upon him 3 things: 1.) The name of my God. 2.) The name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven. 3.) And my new name.
1.) I will write upon him, I will identify him. I will catalog him as being, as representing those things.
2.) The name of my God upon him showing that he is possessed and owned by God. This shows when there's a marriage, the wife takes the husband's name and this shows a bridal relationship with God, being possessed by him in a love relationship. We will be marked as a permanent possession of God. We will have his nature.
3.) The name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, Hebrews 12:22. So I'm going to mark you as being a part of my new Jerusalem. Revelation 21:10 shows that they are identified as members of this holy bride of Jesus. The name of this new Jerusalem is her essence, her position as a bride. She is identified as the one, as the one which is above other woman to stand in a love relationship with Jesus.
Now read Rev. chapter 21 for more about the New Jerusalem-- the bride. It's talks about the bride-- the Philadelphia church being the new Jerusalem. And it says that the nations that are saved shall walk in the light of it. And the nations that are saved shall bring the glory and honour into it. The nations have access to it, but they are not the city. They are not the light-- they walk in the light of the new Jerusalem-- the bride.
My new name: So there's a new name indicating a further Revelation of God than was previously given. When we're caught up to be the bride, we will have a further Revelation of God than was previously given. That goes far beyond anything we've known before, because the Bible says we will fully know even as we are also already known. In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as El: The mighty one; the strong one. And as Elohim: The sum of all strength, the strong one of all strong ones, the plural of majesty, God. And as to His own covenant people, He revealed Himself as Yahweh, the I am, the covenant keeper, the one who is whatever His people need Him to be, and went on and said I'm Yahweh your healer, shepherd, righteousness, banner, peace, and revealed Himself in these many ways. In the New Testament, He came unto His own and they received Him not. Yahweh Oshea or Yeshua or Jesus-- Yahweh the Savior, Yahweh comes in a body of flesh to save His people. Later He's revealed as our bridegroom when we're joined unto Him. So it's possible that this new name could refer to the fact that Yahweh has become our husband or bridegroom.
Spiritual lessons for the Philadelphia Church
1.) Jesus revealing himself as he that is holy, and therefore we just appropriate and move into the holiness of God in our lives. In our behavior, in our manner of life and in the way we relate to the world, and to people around us and the way we deal w/ our brothers and sisters. God's calling us to holiness, to a tender sensitive walk before Him being separate unto Him and desiring to please Him in all things.
2.) Jesus showed himself as he that is true or that is real. So God is saying I'm calling for a reality in my church, I'm real, I'm genuine and I want you to be real and genuine. I'm the one who fulfilled the types and shadows, everything points to me. Everything in the plan of God, in the O.T., was a picture of me and now he's saying I want you to fulfill that position too, because you're part of me. You're my body and those prophecies apply to you too, and you can be that which is real and that which fulfills the word of God if you will walk before me and surrender to me and be honest with me in your heart.
3.) Verse 8: I have set before you an open door. So we have the admonishment that in these days there is a particular open door, and God is challenging us to move through this open door. It's the open door of the Gospel Age. Joel 2:23 and Hosea 6:3 talk about the latter rain that is to fall in our day. The latter rain and the teaching of God's truth. The rain is coming to mature the crops and to bring them unto perfection, and this is why this is an open door in our day. Because Joel says, I'll bring you the former rain moderately, and then I will cause the latter rain to fall. I'll bring the former rain to teach God's people and prepare them to be my end time bride and to move with me in the last days, and then I will send the latter rain to bring the harvested crops which they produced to maturity, and this is the open door that we have to move into-- to work for God bringing a bride to maturity that can love him and satisfy his heart.
James 5:7 says that the husbandman waits with long patience for the precious fruit of the earth. So in this day of this open door, God is calling us to have patience to work in our own lives so that we can effectively go through that open door-- to be patient and trained and receive everything he has for us so we can be these effective farmers.
Isaiah 55:10-13 says ye shall go out with joy-- through this open door that I've set before you, and it shall be to the Lord for a name: this last day move of God when the rain comes and you go forth through the door and the crops of God and the trees of God come forth, He says, all of this is going to be for me a name. Because these people are going to be proclaiming His name for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Song of Solomon 2:8-14-- The bridegroom calls his beloved away at the time when the rain has come and gone. Verse 13-- Israel is almost ready to come back into my covenant, and all that time, he says come away. So after that latter rain falls and God produces in His church that which His heart desires, He calls us away.
4.) You have kept my word, and so he is admonishing us that it's only by keeping the living word. Jesus is the word. This book is his word expressed in writing. Jesus came to express the word of God in a life, and we are called to live that same life. We are called to yield to the life of Christ that is within us. That is what is involved by keeping his word-- letting the word of God dwell in you and produce through you that which God wants to produce, keep my word by taking it in. You can't keep it unless you know it and have it in your heart. Keep my word by holding it inside you and by letting it work through you, not just by memorizing scriptures, but keep my word by becoming one with it. Keep my word by working it out and fulfilling it in your own life.
5.) You have not denied my name. This is the heart of the bridegroom to his bride. I'm going to marry you because you've been true to my name, you've supported my name. You've shown that you want to be attached to my name for all eternity, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to take you up and attach you to my name. I'll give you my new name. This is going to cost a high price because it's a high position. We find that the manchild, as it were, will be sold by his brothers like Joseph was. He'll be cast out by his brethren (who hate you for my name's sake). But, we find that Joseph was the one who was exalted and who was put in that position-- second to the king and he was the one who dispensed that precious grain: the word of God to starving souls who came to him to receive the truth of God. Though he was cast out, God exalted him and used him to sustain life. And that's what the manchild is going to do in these last days in a spiritual way-- sustain life. This involves becoming experientially one with his name, that is, with his nature, what his name represents as well as just being in the oneness of God and the truth of who he is. It involves taking the truth and becoming one with him when you get the Revelation that there is one who is your lover and your God. God is calling you to take that Revelation and do something with it-- have a relationship w/ him-- surrender everything to him. That is keeping his name in the fullest sense-- keeping his holiness, his nature.
6.) Those who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie. This is not talking about our brethren, true born again Christians, who miss the Rapture, because they are true Jews. They're not lying. They are truly the people of God, although they don't yield to the full truth of God. What is in view here is several things:
A. Pseudo Christians, false Christians in the world church system which the Bible says will come to pass and be formed in these days. They say they are the Israel of God, Christians, spiritual Jews, but they are not and therefore are lying.
B. False Charismatics who say they are a part of the end time move of God, and perhaps even believe that they are, but knowingly or not, they're lying. There are going to be those who knowingly are lying.
C. Liberal Jews who at Armageddon will lose their lives. There are those who are Jews in name, but not inwardly in their hearts. The Bible says that at the battle of Armageddon 2/3's of the nation of Israel will lose their life, and those that say they are Jews in the judgment will acknowledge that you are the true Israel of God.
D. Jews who repent in the tribulation and at the time of Armageddon, and as Jesus comes to stand upon the Mount of Olives, they will look up and acknowledge that they rejected their own Messiah. They too will acknowledge that there has been a true Israel of God all along.
7.) You have kept the word of my patience. Jesus is telling us to keep his patience, his endurance, because he already endured and walked in patience and endurance. He fulfilled the word that he preached, and now by his strength and the fact that we are crucified w/ Christ and no longer live but Christ liveth in us, we are called to keep his patience by his power within us.
So we're called to have that patience of an husbandman (farmer James 5:7). We are also called to have the patience of those that are reviled and cast out for his name.
Hebrews 12:3-6 tells us.... Read. So we find that there is rejection, and this casting out that we're going to experience is going to work chastening in our own lives. It will work a purification, because Peter said in 1 Peter 4:1 by suffering for the truth of God, you become separated wholly unto him. You die to sin and self and become pure before God in an experiential way.
Why does God require this price? This total giving of ourselves in total surrender. The simple reason is that he desires to have a bride that is fully in love with Him. Death to self is just another way of saying we are falling in love w/ Jesus. These trials, chastenings, and rejection we will face in days ahead will merely cause us to fall in love w/ Jesus and to depend upon him alone and realize that's he's the only one, anyway, who can satisfy our hearts.
So this keeping the word of his patience refers to those who are encountering persecution and resistance. That's why they have to keep the word of his patience. This tells us that we will endure trials and persecution before the Rapture.
8.) Verse 11, we are taught a lesson that we need not stand in awe of men w/ big names and organizations who are applauded by the masses. Don't get your eyes on man, on the glittering accomplishments of men. Don't let any man take your crown because you are looking more to man than to me. Don't be deceived by the antichrist system or the deceptions in the church. Don't allow darkness to come into your heart or sleepiness to overtake you.
9.) Verse 12, we see that he that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God. You will be a support of truth in these last days, holding up the truth, and will fear to go out from the truth and relationship that you have w/ me.
3 rewards: 1. Will write the name of my God. 2. Will write the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem. 3. Will write upon him my new name.
Philadelphia ("Love of the brethren" or "Brotherly love")
Picturesque location in plain of Hermus River, 25 mi. southeast of Sardis. Grape-growing district; also sugar cane, fruits, wheat. Fine Roman roads; pleasant, healthy climate. Had frequent earthquakes. Rebuilt after quake of 17 A.D., along with Sardis. Exists as a small town today.