25. THE CHURCH AGE OF PHILADELPHIA.
“The city of Philadelphia was founded by Eumenes, king of Pergamum, in the 2nd century BC, and named after his brother Attalus, whose loyalty had earned him the name Philadelphus.” (Reference: The New Bible Dictionary.) It is partly in recognition of the love and loyalty of these two brothers, and Jesus Christ’s command that we should love one another, that this church is often called The Church of Brotherly Love.
Revelation 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is Holy and true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts and shuts and no one opens”: 8 I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have 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 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. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
Philadelphia, the sixth church age begins with the founding of the London Missionary Society in 1795, with the Church of Jesus Christ once again committing itself to “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) “and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
For Jesus to hold the key of David is to say that Jesus Christ holds that position of all power and authority given by God to the Son of David, so that whatever door Jesus opens, no one can shut, and whatever door Jesus closes, no one can open.
Isaiah 22:22 They key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open.
Keys speak to us of power and authority. If you hold the keys to the city gates, you hold power and authority over that city and nothing can enter or leave that city unless you allow it.
Likewise, gates speak of power and authority. The city gates allow the king to control who enters and leaves his city, but if we held the keys to the city, we could come and unlock the city gates, enter into the city, unlock the prison doors and set the captives free.
Matthew 16:18b - - - - - - “I (Jesus Christ) will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and what ever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
If you hold the keys to a mad dog’s cage, you hold the power and authority to bind or loose that dog. We hold the power authority to bind Satan (the strongman), to enter his house, and set the captives free (Matthew 12:22 – 30).
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”
Jesus has set before the Church an open door to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations, a door that no one can shut. 2,000 years ago, the church of Philadelphia sat upon the main highway east to India and China, and to these far off nations the church of Philadelphia sent many missionaries to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations.
Likewise, the church age of Philadelphia begins in 1795 with a commitment to send many missionaries to the far off nations of India and China. The Lord Jesus Christ has opened a door to the nations of the world that would never be closed.
Man, like the Chinese Communist Government, may try to close the gates of Hell to the gospel of Jesus Christ, but the church in China continues to grow. Even when Communist oppression of the Church was at it’s greatest, God was still delivering Chinese from the power of darkness and conveying them into the kingdom of Jesus Christ the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13 – 14).
We cannot win people to Jesus Christ by our own strength and power; we need God’s power and authority. Therefore in order to be witnesses to Jesus Christ, we first need to receive God’s power and authority, which is only available to those whom the Holy Spirit has come upon.
After His resurrection Jesus Christ gathered His disciples together and
commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”- - - -“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:4 – 5 & 8).
Jesus says to the church in Philadelphia:
“For you have little strength, have kept my word and have not denied My name.”
God’s word tells us
James4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
II Corinthians 12:9 And He (Jesus Christ) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Corinthians 13:4 For though He (Jesus Christ) was crucified in weakness (in that He humbly submit Himself to God), yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him (in that we through Christ have humbly submit ourselves to God will), but we shall live with Him by (the resurrection) power of God towards you. (Words in italics added)
Revelation3:8b - - - - - - - for you have 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 know that I have loved you.
If we want to be used mightily of God, we first need to remember that without the spirit of Christ dwelling in us and empowering us, we ourselves have no strength, power or authority over our enemy the devil. Secondly we need to keep the word of God. Thirdly we must not deny the name of Jesus Christ. Finally, but the most important, we need to be filled to overflowing with the love of God. Only then will God make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jew, but are not, they lie, to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
‘The synagogue of Satan, those who say they are Jew, but are not, they lie;’ not only includes those false prophets and teachers who sow tares of false doctrine into the church, it also includes those who accept these lying doctrines into their heart, and therefore become children of the devil who dwell in the church alongside the children of God.
How does God deliver those of the synagogue of Satan from the power of darkness and conveying them into the kingdom of Jesus Christ the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13 -14)? Not by might nor by power nor, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6), and by the love of God working through us and reaching out to them in love.
What the children of Satan dwelling among us need more than anything else, is love and acceptance, to know that they are loved and accepted.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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