Monday, August 2, 2021

Philadelphia & Laodicea Church

VIDEO: Philadelphia & Laodicea Church

Philadelphia Church

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said He that is holy, He that is true, He that has the key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens… (Revelation 3:7 AKJV)

This church needs to remember that there is a key that belonged to David which can open a door. We must examine David’s life to see what key he possessed. We know that he was a worshiper, more than half the Psalms were written by him. These songs and hymns were used to worship God. 

When researching the Book of Psalms we see that David, his son Solomon, and Moses wrote about the Secret Place. David mentions it in three Psalms: 7, 18, and 31. When you worship the Lord with abandon like David, not caring who sees, and only focusing on God, this will activate the key to the Secret Place. Now Jesus holds that key and He will use the key to open a door that no man can shut! 

We must remember that it is the Lord who has the key and opens the door, not man. It isn’t up to us to lead others into the Heavenly visits. We cannot open the door anytime we choose. It is up to our Lord to open it for us. 

The Philadelphia Church must also remember that the Lord is holy and true. This suggests that the door requires us to be “set apart” which is the meaning of the word holy. “True” is the Greek word alēthinos (al-ay-thee-nos’) which can also be translated as “opposite to what is imperfect, defective, frail, uncertain.” The Lord is reminding Philadelphia that if they are holy unto Him as He is Holy, it is certain that He will open the door when the time is perfect!

I know your [record of] works and what you are doing. See! I have set before you a door wide open which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My Word and guarded My message and have not renounced or denied My name. (Revelation 3:8 AMPC)

This church has a record for doing works for God which has caused the Lord to open a door to them. The Greek word tēreō (tay-reh’-o) is translated “kept and guarded”, but a fuller translation means “to attend to carefully, take care of.” This assembly is serious about the Word of God! 

The Greek word dynamis (doo'-nam-is) is often translated as power or might, but if they were using only a little of God’s power, why would a door be open? Most words can have multiple meanings. Here dynamis means “power and resources arising from numbers.” The church is not a big church, but a small one.

Take note! I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and learn and acknowledge that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9 AMPC)

In God’s timing, the world will see that the Philadelphia Church knows God and He loves them. The Apostle John who wrote this book uses “Jews” to refer to those who claim to be Abraham’s descendants. Could this include Christians as well, since we are adopted into the family of God? Or will Israel finally recognize Jesus as the Messiah from this church? 

We know this assembly of believers is teaching because others will be forced to come and “learn” from them. The path to God is narrow, perhaps that is why the churches that are operating in God’s ways are few in number. 

Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come on all the world, to try them that dwell on the Earth. (Revelation 3:10 AKJV)

This church has guarded the Word of the Lord with patience. The Greek translation for patience more fully means “steadfastness, constancy, endurance.” The Philadelphia church has guarded the Word this way. The Greek word ek is translated “from”, but John uses it to mean “out of” 12 times in his writings. This means that God will keep them out of a time period (hour) which is coming upon the whole world. 

The word peirasmos (pie-ras-mos’) is translated as temptation. It actually means “a rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged, to show themselves.” We know that after the Tribulation, the world refused to “repent” or turn from their sin. They are in rebellion against God’s ways and He will pour out vials of wrath on the Earth at this time. The addition of “upon the Earth” makes it clear that this group will not be among those on the Earth when God’s wrath is poured out to prove His justice or it would come upon them as well. 

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God: and I will write on him My new name. (Revelation 3:11-13 AKJV)

This is one of two types of churches that do not need to “overcome” any sin, only to hold on to what they have. Those who hang tight will become a “pillar” in God’s temple, a strong and mighty part of the support structure. Since they are leaving the Earth in the Rapture, the “go no more out” refers to the fact they will be in Heaven with the Lord, in New Jerusalem. 

In the Bible, a new name was given when there was a new task. God changed Abram’s name, meaning “high father,” to “Abraham,” meaning “father of a multitude: (Genesis 17:5). At the same time, God changed Abraham’s wife’s name from “Sarai,” meaning “my princess,” to “Sarah,” meaning “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15). Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation.” When our Lord comes back to rule, it seems He will be given a new name, perhaps as ruler. When a marriage is complete, we receive the name of our husband. Perhaps this is an additional reference to this group who will be in the wedding ceremony.

Achievement: Works, patient endurance in God’s teachings
Obstacle: Hold on to what they have
Reward: Kept “out of” the hour of trial & be made a pillar in the temple of God

Laodicea (Lah-od-ik’-i-ah) Church

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God… (Revelation 3:14 AKJV)

The word “amen” in this verse has some Greek letters added to it (ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς κ. ἀληθινός) which declare this as a proper name and the meaning of the word to be “truth” or in this case Mr. Truth. The Lord is reminding this church of who He is: Truth, Faithful, Witness, He was from the beginning of time. 

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16 AKJV)

It seems that there are works, but not because of passion. The word “spew” could also be translated “vomit” but really means to reject with extreme disgust. The Lord is not accepting anything from believers who are not stirred up for Him. What has caused this part of God’s church to have a “chill” attitude: not really trying to move forward with Him, just coasting along in life?

Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…(Revelation 3:17 AKJV)

Hmmm… this reminds of the story of the rich guy that approached Jesus. When the Lord told the rich guy he needed to follow Him above his bountiful riches and give all his wealth away, the man left and turned his back on the Lord. Most of the population of North America and Europe are very “comfortable.” They are seen as “rich” nations. Whether you are in one of these nations or are somewhere else, if you are wealthy enough that you don’t feel the need to pursue God, you have life all figured out, then this applies to you. Jesus spoke about this:

And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24 AKJV)

When we have much money, it is easy to become dependent on that instead of God. This group of Christians have much substance on this Earth and instead of trying to do more of God’s work with it, they are coasting through life. The word “wretched” could also mean “enduring trial” which means they are failing a test! Like Jesus’ speech on the mount, “poor” and “blind” refer to the spiritual state of a person: no spiritual connection to Heaven and unable to understand spiritual matters without any righteousness before God.

I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. (Revelation 3:18 AKJV)

This is what the Laodicea church is missing: 

1. Gold tried in the fire:

We cannot buy the gifts of the Spirit or our salvation. However, true works are seen as “gold” when placed in His fire. 

Now if any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13 AKJV)

Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:17-18 AKJV)

When we realize that eternity has been purchased through the actions of Jesus, we should be willing to work for His kingdom, doing work for Him. Everything we do will be tested by God to see what is truly for Him or if what we have done is to benefit ourselves or from our own desires. 

“Buying” isn’t literally purchasing something. It is investing time and energy into achieving a goal. 

2. A white garment that covers nakedness is given to those who walk righteously before God. 

And one of the elders answered, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and from where came they? And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14 AKJV)

In a later chapter in Revelation, we see what happens to those who “buy” the white robe. We are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus when we take Him as Lord. This means we are willing to learn about His kingdom and work for Him. It will take effort to turn to God and learn His ways, but this equips you to wear a righteous garment! 

3. Eye salve would cure what is affecting our vision: they need a new way of looking at the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ho, everyone that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1 AKJV)

The Gospel message is known as “milk.” At the time this was written, wine was used in healing. The prophet Isaiah spoke about “buying” the milk and wine without paying money and without a price. It isn’t about paying for a teaching or a prayer. It is about receiving a free teaching that will help us look at the world in the right way. It is clear that God expects His people to put some effort into finding out what is holding them back from seeing into their homeland, Heaven. 

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:19 AKJV)

God doesn’t stop loving us even when we ignore Him. If you have been coasting along in your Christian life, if you haven’t been trying to find out what God created and designed you to do for His kingdom, then you will need to be “zealous” for Him in order to repent. This means you must “desire earnestly and pursue” God.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20 AKJV)

This is wonderful news! The Lord is calling out to those who have drifted away. He is just waiting for us to open the door so He can meet with us.

To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches. (Revelation 3:21-22 AKJV)

Achievements: Works
Obstacle: Put effort into learning and recover zealousness for God
Reward: Sit with Jesus at His Throne

The New Testament Church

This completes the account of the New Testament churches. It reveals what God expects of us. When we look at the six churches and the judgments that are against them, we can see the fullness of the New Testament with all the scriptures working together!

State of our Heart

Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 AMPC)

We are made righteous because of what our heart believes. We must adhere to and trust in what the Lord has done in order to be saved. The word Lord means “owner.” When we truly believe that Jesus has paid the price for us, we should be devoted to Him as the ruler of our life. We are His willing slave, ready to work for Him. 

What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 AKJV)

When we become a Christian, our life is no longer our own. Even our bodies belong to God. This change begins in our heart, which is what matters to God. If our heart is not truly changed then we will remain in sin, not really understanding that our entire life, even our physical body belongs to God. A prolonged state of rejection of this basic principle can have very bad consequences. Three of the churches came into judgment because of this:

  • The Ephesus church has a heart that is no longer in love or devoted to Jesus, they are just hanging on, waiting for the end to come.
  • Sardis is not really alive, but dead. Scripture refers to those without Jesus as dead, referring to the spiritual state of the person. They have been asleep, perhaps ignoring the things of God for so long that some areas of their walk are completely dead and are in danger of dying completely. 
  • Laodicea Church is lukewarm. It has lost the passionate zeal for God. These are Christians who are not willing to be inconvenienced by their relationship with the Lord. If it isn’t easy, they won’t do it.

There are some scriptures in the New Testament that I had previously avoided thinking about. Now I see how to apply them:

Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away)... (John 15:2 AMPC) 

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:5-6 AMPC)

After reading about the churches in Revelation, these verses now make sense. Each one of these bodies of believers is no longer vitally attached to the Lord. They are all in a state of decay and in danger of being thrown into the fire. In the Bible, fire represents harsh correction and judgment from God, an example is when Israel was conquered and enslaved by other nations. It is time for us to check on our connection to the Vine. Is our connection a vital, vibrant part of our life or a sidenote? 

Our Dedication

You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God… (Exodus 20:5 AKJV) 

When God tells us “not to have any idols,” He is kind enough to let us know why in the very first commandment, which includes this statement. When we intentionally sin, we are serving another god and bowing down to them or our own desires:

Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 AKJV)

When we choose to sin it puts us into Satan’s hands. Two of the judgments against the churches are because of this:

  • Pergamum has teachings of Balaam and Nicolaitans that encourage God’s children to sin
  • Thyatira tolerates Jezebel who encourages God’s children to sin

Notice that the judgment against all the churches is not due to having sin, but for encouraging others to sin. This helps us understand the way several scriptures should rightly work together. There are two verses that are often used to state that we don’t need to worry about sin:  

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. (1 John 1:8 AKJV)

You have been set free from sin... (Romans 6:18 NIV)

When we look only at these, it seems to say that we will always have sin, but we have been set free from it through Jesus. This is true, but it leaves out key factors! Let’s look deeper into Romans:

Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. (Romans 6:18 AKJV)

This is the full verse. Now it is clear that you become and are being made free from sin as you choose righteousness. Before Jesus, there were generational curses that could push us continually into sin, but now the blood has paid the price for our freedom! It talks about this before stating our freedom:

We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. (Romans 6:6 AMPC)

Sin can no longer cling to us and bind, enslaving us to the kingdom of darkness. In modern day terms, it means that through what the Lord did on the cross, sin cannot pressure us into wrong actions. All we have to do is resist! Investigating First John further reveals why we MUST resist sin:

No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him—deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him]. (1 John 3:6 AMPC)

Jesus paid a high price to free us from being a slave to sin. If we continually choose to sin instead of learning His ways and the ways of the Kingdom of God, then we have not really submitted to Him as Lord. We are choosing to do what we think is best and what we want instead of striving to find out what our Lord wants from us!

Instead of focusing on what we cannot do, if we keep our eyes on what God has done, how can we not be in love with and devoted to the Lord. As long as we are not “habitually” or “intentionally” sinning, Jesus has us covered. This is wonderful news because none is without sin! 

Jesus says there is only one church that He will “keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing).” If you want to go in the Rapture, look for a Philadelphia church. These other churches will come under judgment if they don’t overcome what God has declared against them. After John reveals the seals, trumpets, vials and the victory of the Lord, he shows what will await those that do “overcome” what is against them.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. (Revelation 21:6-7 AKJV)

It doesn’t say that you will be part of the “Bride of Christ”, but you will have a place in Heaven and be granted to drink from the “water of life” which leads to eternal life. If you do not go in the Rapture, then you are in the wrong church. Therefore, you must look at the church you are in and be willing to turn from sin that is described for you or that particular church. It is the state of our heart that matters to God. If we are really trying to do things His way, He will know and all will be well. 

Many of us have loved ones that we feel may not make the Rapture. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to have the following ready for those who remain:

  1. Copies of the Courts of Heaven Academy Workbooks
  2. Copies of Believers’ Boot Camp Books. 
  3. A letter to go with them to be kept with your most valuable possessions. 

You can find a copy of a letter that will be left for our loved ones at the end of the next Academy Workbook: The Book of Revelation.

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