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Philadelphia Means Brotherly Love

Clarity, or the ability to see clearly, is what we need in this day and age.  We are living in the shadow of a world government that, though not yet fully formed, is working its evil in the background of our daily lives.  Moreover, the message we hear from many pulpits does not accurately reflect the will of the Holy Spirit.  Thus, like the “instead of Christ”, which is what the term Antichrist means, we hear a pseudo gospel that sounds “like Christ”. This world is a house of mirrors where everything is distorted by sin.

It’s not sin to be deceived, just dangerous.  Dangerous in the way that playing on a highway is for a young child who doesn’t understand their peril.  In our day, lack of clarity prepares us to receive and follow the Antichrist. Without a love of “The Truth”, we necessarily fall victim to “The Lie”.

Living in the age of Philadelphia

God says,

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.  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.  

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.  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 3:7-11

First the natural, then the spiritual

The church of Philadelphia was an actual church in Asia Minor during the fist century A.D.  Therefore, the primary application of these scriptures is to that literal church at Philadelphia.  However, there is a second, and broader application of Christ’s words which speaks to our present time.  Not only does Christ talk about seven literal churches in Asia Minor, but he describes 7 distinct periods that span the Gentile church age. Each of these periods of time have the characteristics, in a broad sense, of the literal church it is associated with. Just as God used the story of Jonah to foreshadow the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, God uses these seven churches in asia to foreshadow seven church ages before the second coming of Christ.

The first church, beginning with Sardis, is analogous to the period following Christ’s accension. In that age, like the actual church, many fell away from the faith. Comments that Jesus makes to the saints at Sardis prophetically speak of conditions that apply to Christians in general at that future time. Each of the other natural churches has spiritual parallels too.  Thus, these historical churches prophetically foreshadow conditions and events that happen to God’s people as a whole, during the next 2000 years. I believe that we are currently in the 6th church age foreshadowed by the church at Philadelphia. We are now coming into the age of brotherly love.

A people who have a little strength

To begin with, the door Jesus opens to the Philadelphians is the same door the apostle John saw in heaven. To the church of Philadelphia, Jesus provides a way of escape for saints who embrace His Divine Love.  The reason that Jesus opens this door for us is we keep His word and do not deny His name.

Keeping God’s word is not just believing doctrine. Keeping the word of Christ is also listening and obeying God’s voice each and every day. Those who are led of the Spirit, these are the sons of God. It does little good to read and understand God’s word if we will not hear His voice.

Many scholars want the Bible to be as definitive as a baking recipe. If God speaks about one event in one text, they want Him to use the exact same wording in another. Therefore, when reading the Word of God, many people miss obvious connections, because God doesn’t say everything exactly the same. A door in heaven represents a portal through which people journey to God and to His throne. Translate, rapture, caught away, all talk about one central phenomenon. Some theologians get lost in the terminology (woods) because they can’t see the forest for the trees.

A world undone by Love

In the future, as the man-child takes shape, God brings about a stunning reversal of fortunes.  The Dragon of Revelation 12, thinking to kill a newborn child, instead confronts a fully grown man-child. Like a whole nation born in a single day, God’s offspring suddenly appear on the world stage.  Philadelphian Christians allow God’s Divine Love to reveal itself through them, bringing the Antichrist government to its knees.

The true miracle of the Body of Christ is love.   As people feel the love of God through His body, they will not fight, harm, or otherwise oppress anyone.  Thus, when the powers that be demand evil things, people simply don’t obey.  Divine love is the ultimate passive resistance.  People bent on evil lose influence over the masses who are experiencing God’s love.  This is how God deals a death-blow to the Antichrist government.

Is Satan targeting the church of Philadelphia?

The church of Philadelphia is, at present, mostly invisible.  People who follow the Holy Spirit are generally outcasts in todays Christian church.  I am beginning to suspect that the elect don’t look very “Churchy”.  Perhaps drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics, and groups that don’t look like Christians are, in fact, the face of Philadelphia. Maybe they look and act like the woman at the well who was one of the first to recognize Jesus as the Christ.  Could it be that Satan targets certian people because he recognizes their potential? What if those who abuse drugs are people with a special need to connect with God?  Maybe the “high” drug users seek is just a deep need to feel the presence of the Lord?  It could be that women who turn to prostitution are targets for abuse precisely because of their capacity for Divine Love.  I suspect these outcasts, as they encounter God’s Divine love may, in turn, love much.

Jesus says,

But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.  He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.  And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.  Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”

Matthew 21:28-31

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