WHICH IS THE TRUE
PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF REVELATION, TODAY?
competition is fierce. Various groups contend tenaciously for the superior name of,
"Philadelphia." "We are the true Philadelphians!" some
insist, and then
proceed to inform us of the various reasons why THEY are the special,
chosen ones. One group goes as far as to add the word "Philadelphia" to
their official name.
What is the
source of this competition? The source is
the book of Revelation chapter 3:7-12.
the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who
is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and
no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”
know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can
for you have a little strength, have kept My
word, and have not denied My name.
9 Indeed I will make those of the
synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I
will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I
have loved you. 10 Because
you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the
hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who
dwell on the earth.
the above verses, one can clearly understand why so many crave to belong
to that very special group. For
Christians who will live in those horrific days, being a part of
that select group means being spared going through the very trying times
described later in the book of Revelation and in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and
Mark13. If, indeed, it is true that ours are the days that will precede
the Great Tribulation, then it is crucial that we understand what
Christ's requirements are for us to be worthy to escape those tragic
days by being a part of the Church of
article we will attempt to dissect the requirements, so as to get a
clearer idea as to what Jesus Christ will look for in deciding who will
be spared and who will not be spared.
WHY IS THE CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA SPECIAL?
of all, start with Christ's descriptions of the Philadelphia Church.
In verse 8, Jesus begins his assessment with a brief but very powerful
know your works."
knows every Christians very well. He knows if our works reflect Him, or
if they reflect carnality and selfishness. Let's see what he had to say
about "works" in the Gospels.
the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels
with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All
the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one
from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats
on the left. 34 Then
the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was
thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited
Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry
and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When
did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe
You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and
come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them,
‘Assuredly, I say to you,
inasmuch as you did it to one of the
least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed,
into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you
gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me
in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not
they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see
You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and
did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them,
I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of
these, you did not do it to Me.’
46 And these will go away into
everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
The above are works of
charity and, without doubt,
of charity will abound among Philadelphians.
Not abounding in
such works, can keep us out of God's Kingdom, thus it is safe to assume
that they will also be
critical to making us worthy of protection during the Great
Philadelphians will abound in
the Fruits of the Spirit.
group will understand the importance of growing in the Fruits the
Apostle paul listed for us in Galatians 5..
Galatians 5:22-23 But
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
Philadelphians would have grown in such precious, spiritual
characteristics which are the result of the Holy Spirit abounding in
the fruits of
special group will not compromise with God's Word. They will hold God's
will in the highest esteem and will take God's commandments seriously.
"For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word."
Philadelphians will love God's commandments
and will strive to be
obedient, no matter what.
Now by this we
know that we know Him,
if we keep His commandments.
Philadelphians will take their
Christian calling seriously.
Those special Christians
will most probably will be tested
severely over years, or decades -- and they will remain
faithful. They will grow in Christ's knowledge and in His
They will be humble and they will rely on Christ and
His power to obey Him and to endure until the end.
know that their success rests on Christ's power in them and will rely on
that power every day of their lives, as Christ admonishes us in the
Gospel of John
15:5 I am the vine, you are
the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for
without Me you can do nothing.
Philadelphians will be very busy doing God's work in
spite of their limitations.
Revelation 3:8 "I have set before you an open door, and no one
can shut it;"
will open doors for them and they will willingly and zealously enter in to do
Christ's work worldwide.
Philadelphians will take prayer and closeness to God very seriously.
They believe and act upon Christ's admonishment to
They Know that that will be a fundamental requirement to being found
worthy to escape the Great Tribulation.
Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to
escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the
Son of Man.
will not be superficial Christians.
What is seen in them is substantial and true. Others around them will seem to be real Christians, but they will be liars. Theirs is a front.
They will be surface, not substance.
Revelation 3:9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews
though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall
down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you."
persevere in the Faith, even in trying times
Revelation 3:10 "Since you have
kept my command to endure patiently..."
If they have
endured, the implication is that they have endured trials and suffering
in spite of all their sufferings they stayed faithful.
they have kept the Christian package faithfully without
Philadelphians will be a very special group, because they will abound in
love, faith, faithfulness, zeal, humility and obedience.
will not be a name which they or their leaders have arbitrarily
given to themselves, but a name which captures the essence of everything
a Christian should and must be.
WHAT THEY WILL NOT BE
gives us some details as to what the ones who will go through the Great
Tribulation will be like. They are known as the, "Church of Laodicea."
Revelation 3:14 And
to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans
write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful
and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 “I know
your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were
cold or hot. 16 So
then, because you are lukewarm, and
neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
you say, ‘I am rich, have become
wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are
wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be
rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame
of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye
salve, that you may see.
everything Philadelphia is, Laodicea is not. Christ summarizes their
state succinctly by simply calling them, "Lukewarm." Thus, while
Philadelphia is fervent in love, faith, faithfulness, obedience and
commitment to preaching the Gospel, they are simply feeble and weak
in most or all of the above-mentioned critical traits.
Yet, they totally deceive themselves that
they are in very good spiritual shape.
In short they are convinced
that they are Philadelphians and that they are pleasing to God and
Christ and thus they are deserving of protection.
IT IS CRITICAL TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THE TRUE PHILADELPHIANS WOULD DARE NOT PROCLAIM THAT THEY ARE
PHILADELPHIANS. IT IS THE LAODICEANS THAT WILL DO
SO, BECAUSE THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY SUPERIOR.
ELEVATE THEMSELVES WITH CERTAINTY TO THE LEVEL OF PHILADELPHIANS
ARE, IN FACT, ACTING LIKE LAODICEANS. GROUPS THAT DARE CALL OTHER
GROUPS LAODICEANS MAY BE AGGRAVATING THEIR STANDING BEFORE GOD BY ARBITRARILY TAKING ON A JOB THAT BELONGS TO GOD ONLY: THAT OF JUDGING THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE.
cannot assert with absolute certainty that the return of Christ is near;
if it is near, and if the Great tribulation is indeed approaching, we
have the responsibility as Christians to strive to please our Creator
and to do what is our duty to do. Our mission is to live holy lives that
please and honour our Saviour.
cannot be obsessed with saving our skins, as that is a form of
selfishness and is a sign of lack of spirituality. Jesus warned us that
desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My
sake will find it."
must be committed to Christ unto death. That is the true Philadelphian
Philadelphians will not be obsessed with escaping the Great Tribulation;
their daily concern will be honouring their God and pleasing their
Saviour in every aspect of their lives.
That's what makes Philadelphians precious in God's eyes.
They are even
ready to sacrifice their own lives to honour their Saviour
that is special indeed.
set aside, therefore, the obsession with being spared future suffering.
Let's be concerned, instead, with becoming like Christ and abounding in the Fruits
that He is willing to produce in us: the fruits of charity, the fruits
of the Spirit, the fruits of obedience and of Faith and humility. Let's
be on guard not to allow a Laodicean spirit of spiritual cockiness to
permeate our minds and let's, instead, strive in humility to please
our God and to emulate our Saviour.
Lastly let's leave the decision
to save us from future suffering to God and Jesus Christ. They are the just Judges and
their decision will be best, whatever it will be.
Holiness: God's Wish for All His Children
What Does God Want From You?
Why Does Jesus Delay His Coming?
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© Copyright, M. Caputo, 2012
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