Why The Name, “Jesus Alone?”

Is Jesus Alone a title that supports the Oneness Pentecostal teaching that is also called, “Jesus Only?” It’s understandable why some might get that idea from the title of this website as, “Jesus Alone” and TheLordAlone.com. The focus is certainly on the person of Jesus Christ and His gospel. However, I do not hold the Oneness view. I also do not condemn those who hold this view by counting them as unbelievers. We all see God “as through a glass darkly.” Personally, I believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. I believe that there is one God, and I believe that God is revealed to man in three distinct persons who interact, submit to, and honor one another: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Why the name, “Jesus Alone?”

The tagline for the website offers a clue. “The Lord alone shall be exalted that day.” This comes from Isaiah 2. As Christians, we want Jesus to return. We are eager to see Him and to be free from this life of sin and death. However, I wonder how eager we really ought to be. I ask myself also. Am I really ready for that day? The Day of the Lord is a day of vengeance, and all things that are exalted above Him are brought down. There is the obvious application, if it is not lost on the false rapture doctrine, which is the overthrow of the false prophet or false christ. However, there is much more that we can consider. Why does this false christ come? Why do such troubles come on the earth?

As Christians, we can trust in Jesus. I do not want to extinguish faith by making anyone who believes in Jesus to doubt. However, I also do not want to give false assurance of salvation to those who are not as dedicated as they should be. Again, I include myself.

The best way I deal with this personally is to have faith in the sovereign grace of God. If we have faith, then God the Father gave it. If we love Jesus, then He will send the Holy Spirit to us and we will grow in the faith. We will die to all things that we held higher than Jesus, not least of which is ourselves. We who are dead in sin will learn not to serve sin, and we will serve Jesus instead. The less we serve sin, the better we serve Him, and the greater assurance of salvation we have.

I would that I never sinned again, but I do. So, I trust in the mercy of God as I strive to take all sin seriously, pray often, and ask that my heart and mind are made stronger in Christ by the Spirit given to me. I take comfort in His sacrifice that gives us white robes of righteousness, washing away our sins. I take comfort in knowing that we are His workmanship, and He will complete it because all of His works are pure gold. I take comfort in His truthfulness and faithfulness, because He will do all that He said, and He will do it perfectly. He is God with us, and this means so much. He is with us in that He lived among us. He is with us in that He sends His Spirit to live with us and within us. He is with us in that He is on our side, and nothing can remove us from Him.

Even so, I know that my faith is weakened by the sins that remain with me, and the more I know of Jesus the more fearful even the most “minor” of sins, if there are such things, become. How can we profess faith in Jesus and not hate sin? How can we profess Jesus as our Lord and have no guilt over serving all the things that take up more room in our hearts than He does?

We trust in Jesus, but we should fear Him also. Jesus said that there would be many who are shocked at their judgment, thinking that they did God’s service. All things that we serve that are not of Christ are going to be destroyed. Although I believe that all believers are spared the final judgment, I also believe that That Day will be hardest for those who still cling to this dying world. So, let’s try to let go of it. I think we should fight for what is good and true. Hope for the best in our nation and in the world, but in all that we do, Jesus should be in His proper place.

When the greatest enemy of our soul comes to this earth, it will be a terrible time like mankind has never known. We need to be sure of Who we serve, and the better we know Him and serve Him now, the better we will endure such a time as “wise virgins” with lamps full and ready. We cannot be full of this world and of Jesus also. Take what He gives freely, not what the world offers. You have to sell your soul to buy what the world offers. Rather, we should save our soul by taking hold of Jesus Christ. “He who saves his life will lose it, and he who loses His life for Jesus’s sake will find it.”

I pray for greater grace from God our Father in Jesus Christ to renew our zeal for Jesus above all things. When He is first, all else falls into place. I myself don’t see this as I would like to see it, but I know that one day all of us who serve Jesus will and “today is the day of salvation.” Each day, we can seek Jesus and submit ourselves to His work, and we will not be overtaken during the Day of Vengeance that includes a false christ, an apostate church, and finally the vengeance of our God, Jesus Christ.

O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:

Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:

And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty.

11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.

12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,

14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,

15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,

16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.

18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.

19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;

21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of ?

The Spirit’s Message to the Laodiceans

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Jesus knows their works, and He deems them completely repulsive. What are their works, and why are they unpalatable to Him? Whether we are considering an actual church, Christian individuals—or preferably ourselves—we can consider works to be anything done in the Name of Jesus. Though His sacrifice pays for our sins and there is no sacrifice that we can add to remove our debt to Him, we are supposed to offer ourselves to the Lord because this is our reasonable service and the response of true faith. This could include Christian sermons, Christian music or other forms of media, or most importantly, the manner in which a Christian conducts their life.

Jesus describes their works as “neither cold nor hot,” but instead they are “lukewarm.” As such, they are not sacrifices that He deems acceptable. How does this apply? They do not openly oppose the gospel or reject the faith of Jesus Christ, nor do they completely embrace it with fervent dedication. In many ways, they are simply going through the motions. They occupy a somewhat safe middle ground that does not create any controversy. Nice and tepid. The “comfortable” church or Christian is not overly zealous, so they cannot be overly offensive to the cold or the hot. They do not overly trouble the unbelievers, nor do they oppose Christ to such an extent as to deny the faith.

Jesus would rather that they were cold or hot.

If they were cold, or completely opposed to Christ, then it would be clear that they did not serve Jesus. An avid atheist is not mistaken for a believer, so they are easier to spot and less dangerous in many ways than one who retains an heir of Christianity but without real dedication. Such lukewarmness can be dangerous to those who are new to the faith or weak in the faith because they pull many into the same, half-hearted comfort zone.

Such as these are also likely to bring disgrace to Jesus and His servants. “If this is what being a Christian is about, then I don’t want it” is a common reaction caused by lukewarm believers whose pretense and lack of real dedication leads to hypocrisy, sloppy doctrine, and lack of any serious conviction towards a life that brings the good things of God to others.

If they were hot, or fervently affected by the things of Jesus and His gospel, then it would be clear that they serve Him. They could not be mistaken for an unbeliever, because they strive to do their upmost for God as one who grows in their ability, by the grace of God, to “do all things as unto the Lord” and to “love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind.”

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

There are few Christians or churches as prosperous as those who “serve God and mammon.” By occupying the safe and soothing middle ground of lukewarm dedication to the truth of Jesus Christ, they are greatly enriched. This can include actual material wealth, but not exclusively. This can also include a wealthy reputation. People have a generally favorable opinion of them, and they have a glowing opinion of themselves. They might even believe that God has blessed them, thinking themselves to be exemplars of the faith that others should revere and look up to.

Through the blindness of their pride, they consider themselves to have all that they need, both materially and spiritually. However, Jesus, who is the “faithful and true witness” can see what they really are: wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

They are not so saintly as they seem, nor are they as blessed and full of joy as they pretend to be. Within their hidden lives, out of the view of others, they are hateful and miserable. They might have material security and wealth but are not rich in the things that truly matter: the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven, and they cannot seem to see their lack.

Though they dress fancifully, which we can consider in the literal and in the spirit as one who is cloaked with the pretense of holiness that is outward but not sincere, Jesus says that they are naked. They are not clothed with His righteousness, but with their own, which do not even compare to “filthy rags,” but are far worse. At least filthy rags offer some clothing, but instead they are totally exposed: exposed to Him who can see what is really going on, and who will judge it for what it is.

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

Gold tried in the fire. What is this gold? This is the life of Jesus Christ. These are His works, which when put to the test, are as pure as gold. Consider all that Jesus endured, and without sin. Compare this to ourselves, who with the least provocation can become spiteful, covetous, proud, or liars, to name a few. His life was tried more than any man could be tried. He was the Son of God, yet He was humble. He was hated vehemently, yet He loved. He was opposed by religious authorities, yet He spoke the truth. He was killed, yet He remained faithful to the Father. Truly, His life and His sacrifice are pure as Gold, and He offers this to us freely.

Instead of being ambitious in this world and through wealth and popularity “buy” the goodwill of man, we should “buy” of Christ so that we can obtain the goodwill of God. The truth is, we cannot buy it. However, if it could be bought, then we should count what Jesus offers as that “pearl of great price that once found, a person would sell all that they have to buy that pearl.” Such is the Kingdom of God, and we only obtain this precious treasure from Him. Through faith in Him, we experience the true riches of His kingdom as the “beginning of the creation of God” works within our hearts, giving us a new nature that is free from the slavery of this world. Through faith in Him, we will be “born again” at His coming, renewed fully and adopted as the sons of God.

White raiment. These are the robes of righteousness that are given to the saints of God—the righteousness of Christ that we wear to cover our sins. We are never good enough to stand before God on our own. Without the righteousness of Christ, we are naked, and all of our sins are fully exposed. We cannot fashion clothing for ourselves. We cannot perform enough good deeds to make up for our sin. We all need Him, because without His sacrifice our sins remain and we have nothing coming to us but the just punishment, which is death.

Anointing eyesalve. Salve is a healing ointment, and with this ointment, the blind can see. Nothing blinds quite like pride, and through pride, we can easily see ourselves and others in an unrighteous manner. We can see ourselves as righteous, and all the while we embrace sinfulness and decadence. We can see ourselves as holy, and all the while we despise our fellow servants and mankind in general.

Sinners cannot see God, and there are no sinners more hopelessly blind than those who think that they are righteous while they despise the things of God and despise others. If our gold is of Him and our righteousness of Him, then we can see Jesus. We can get to know who He really is, and we can see our great need for Him. We can learn to see others with a kinder eye as well, not as those who flatter and ignore sin to gain the gold of this world, but as those who understand their own depravity were it not for the mercy of God found in Jesus Christ.  

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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.”

If those who are as the Laodiceans do not become serious about the things of Jesus Christ and His gospel, then He will rebuke and chasten them. This is a good sign because it means that Jesus still considers them to be His sons. As the author of Hebrews wrote, God chastens every son that He loves. If no chastening is given, then we are not sons.

How will He chasten them? This can take many forms. This can mean rebuke in spirit that brings the heart of the believer down so that they might seek the Lord. This can mean loss of the things that they trust in more than God. This can mean humiliation as they are exposed for having fallen into a state of lukewarmness, leading to false appearances of righteousness. Whatever form this might take, the result will not fail for those who truly belong to Jesus. He will complete His work in the children of God, even if that work means painful experiences for the believer.

Rather than suffer chastisement, it would be better if the believer would listen to what Jesus has to say. He “stands at the door.” He wants to talk to us, but we need to listen.

We cannot hear Him if our ears are dulled by the undeserved praise of this world. We cannot hear Him if we are listening for opportunities to tear others down so that we can feel superior. We cannot hear Him if we are listening to the wisdom of this world that is foolish to God, telling us that we must do as the world does and prosper thereby. We can not hear Him when the enemy of our soul is clouding our mind with intrusive thoughts of blasphemy, accusations, vanities, envies, murders, and covetousness. The enemy indeed sends loud, raving waters after us. Thanks be to God that if we seek Jesus in faith and with honesty, He will say to those waters, “peace, be still” so that we can hear Him by the Spirit given to us.

“To him that overcometh 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 hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

If we hear Jesus and strive to commune with Him, then He will lead us and there is no further need for chastisement. Rather, we have assured victory in Christ. What should sitting in the throne with Jesus represent for us? Should this represent power and control over others? Perhaps in His Kingdom. We will reign with Him. What does it mean to reign? Does not Satan also have this desire, and more?

Satan does not want to share Jesus’s throne. He wants it all for himself and by his own strength. We who overcome Satan, by the power of Jesus only, will indeed have authority. However, this should first be a desire to be in authority over ourselves.

Through faith in Jesus, and by His strength, we can grow in our ability to control our sinful desires and bring ourselves into greater submission to Christ. The greater we submit to Him, the better we can serve Him. As Jesus said, “the greatest among you will be your servant.” Unlike Satan whose rule is one of tyranny that seeks his own pleasure and glorification, our throne is service to God and man through submission to Christ for His glory and good pleasure. Our desire is for Him: to know who He is, to be where He is, and to serve Him faithfully all the days of our life—which if we are in Christ—are days innumerable.


The above is a section of a chapter I am working on within a book entitled, “These Things Saith He.” This chapter considers what the Spirit of the Lord is communicating to the church of the Laodiceans in Revelation 3. Previous sections considered key attributes of Jesus Christ that the church was being reminded of, so as to make this message resonate more fully with the believer. That is the hope of These Things Saith He–to consider who Jesus is, to put Him first, and hopefully have “ears to hear” for the edification of the writer and for the church. Next, Lord willing, I will publish the completed chapter. Then, the completed book.

Previous section of this chapter: Jesus is the beginning of the Creation of God

Previous completed chapter: These Things Saith He Unto the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia

Jesus is the Beginning of the Creation of God.

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. [i]

What does it mean, “the beginning of the creation of God?” There is a dual meaning.

First, Jesus is the Creator, so it is by Him and from Him that all life originates. As written in John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”[ii]

Secondly, Jesus is the “firstborn among many brethren” and the “first begotten of the dead.” He is the first Son of God and the first to overcome death. In Christ, we are promised resurrection from the dead and adoption as joint heirs and sons of the Kingdom of God.

These ideas fit together, and this is a remarkably beautiful truth. The Creator, who is Jesus Christ, became man, died for man, rose again, and through faith in Him man is given eternal life. He will return to establish His Kingdom, and He will raise those who belong to Him at His coming.

All things pertaining to life come from Jesus—He who experienced death on our behalf, so that we who were dead in sin can live. It is He who orchestrates all things that pertain to our salvation. Faith is given to us by God as an act of grace and mercy. Through faith, the sacrifice of Jesus cleanses us of all sin.

We also receive faith in the truthfulness of what Jesus teaches and the importance of aiming our lives accordingly. We receive faith in His promise to send the Holy Spirit who makes the truth known to us, gifts us in the things of the Spirit, and writes the new nature of Christ into our hearts. We receive faith that despite our failings, God does not see us as sinners, but as saints because His work is as good as accomplished. Therefore, we can be honest about our sins, approach God for mercy, and seek the Spirit in faith to help us overcome sin in the flesh as we learn to walk better in the Spirit.

Through faith, we know that despite how the world hates those who are of the Spirit of God, and though they might accuse, slander, harm, or kill us, Jesus is on our side. He will defend us if we need to be defended, He will raise us from the dead, and He will avenge us. With this faith, we can work towards walking blamelessly in this corrupt world, not repaying evil for evil, but speaking the truth in the right spirit.

This high calling is impossible with man, but with God, all things are possible. We do not want to bring shame to Jesus, and this often means enduring much shame without avenging ourselves. We do not need to worry about how we appear, and we do not need to set the record of ourselves straight, because the record that matters is the Book of Life wherein we are named by He who is Life. It is He who we defend, not ourselves, as we get to know Him and make Jesus known to others.

All of this is accomplished by Jesus—the Creator who creates in us a new nature that can live with Him forever—a new nature that we do not fully see. Yet, we know that “it does not yet appear what we will be, but when He appears we will be as He is.” [iii] There is always more change of nature to seek, and it is good that we should, because as we see that nature formed, we also see Jesus. Who is more worth knowing? In knowing Jesus in the truest sense as we become as He is, we are made free from a corruptible nature and made into the divine nature—into sons of God.

Below are additional scriptures pertaining to Jesus as both the Creator and the firstborn among the brethren in Christ:

  • For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
  • And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Revelation 1:5).
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God.All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3).
  • That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:9-13).
  • But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him (1 Corinthians 8:6).
  • Hebrews 1
  • Hebrews 12

[i] Colossians 1:15-18

[ii] John 1:1-4

[iii] 1 John 3:2


This is a section of a chapter that I’m working on within, “These Things Saith He.” This chapter considers the letter to the Church of the Laodiceans in Revelation 3. So far, we’ve been looking at the opening of the letter, which identifies core attributes of Christ that are necessary for the church being addressed to consider. With Jesus as the focus, all else falls into place as it should be–in understanding of scripture, in Christian doctrine, in Christian living, and in the world at large. Let’s not be lukewarm in this endeavor.

Previous section of this chapter: Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness.

Previous completed chapter: Unto the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia

Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (Revelation 3:19).”

“He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” [i]

Jesus teaches that we should not “judge according to the appearance but judge righteous judgment.” We can read about this in John 7. Some accused Jesus of having a devil because He said that they sought to kill Him. They were angry because He healed a man on the sabbath. Jesus reasoned that if circumcision could be done on the sabbath, then why not heal a man on the sabbath?

In addition to the above statement, Jesus said that He did not seek His own glory, but the glory of the One who sent Him. Therefore, He is true and there is no unrighteousness in Him. [ii]

This is one example of Jesus as the “faithful and true witness.” He judges righteously in that He does not judge according to what seems to be good in the eyes of man, but according to what is actually good. Moreover, He is faithful to the One who sent Him. Jesus consistently strove to seek the glory of His Father and not Himself. He stated that He could only do and say what the Father gave Him to do and say.

Mankind is prone to doing the opposite. We are prone to judging according to what we see and hear, and we judge prejudicially and with hypocrisy—and very often this is because we seek our own honor over that of another. The religious leaders of His day were outwardly righteous in the eyes of man, and they considered themselves to be above others.

They could not receive Jesus because they were full of themselves. They had to be superior, and anyone that challenged their authority was hated. They could not receive correction or instruction, and even a good deed was rendered evil in their sight because of their vehement hatred and envy. All they could see was the poor, carpenter’s son and the unlearned Galilean. Jesus was judged a blasphemer and as having a devil. They could not see who Jesus really was. They could not see the inner man, because they had superficial sight, and with superficiality they justified themselves while condemning others.

Jesus is the opposite. He does not care how great a person appears to be in the sight of others or in their own sight. He sees who a person really is. He can see beyond the flesh and into the spirit, because He is born of the Spirit of God. He could judge rightly if He so chose. Yet, Jesus did not come to judge man:

The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me (John 8:13-16).

It is truly remarkable that He who could righteously judge man chose to refrain from judgment. He did not come into the world to condemn man, but to save them because they were condemned already. Rather, He was a faithful witness of the Father as He who spoke the truth, not for His glory, but for the Father’s. Yet, one day Jesus will judge the earth because the Father has given all judgement to Him. As the righteous judge that He is, He will “reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” He judges in favor of the humble who do not seem to be anything in the eyes of man, and He will slay the wicked with the truth of who they are.

The thing is, we all deserve to be killed because of who we are. We are all sinners, yet He chooses to save some of us. When we put our faith in Him, it is His righteousness that we put our trust in. Not ours. It requires humility to know that our righteousness is not enough and never will be. We need Jesus, and we always need Him no matter how far we think we have come. After-all, all good things we have came from Him in the first place, and only He has the fullness of the Spirit of God. There is always more for us to seek and gain. When He looks at us, He does not see an enemy that needs to be destroyed, but a child that needs to be raised in His will. This might mean discipline and consequences for our wrong-doings. Not many wrongs are as harmful as trusting in the appearance of things, especially the appearance of our own righteousness or worldly gain.

There is another idea to consider. Jesus is also our Faithful and True Advocate to the Father. He claims us as His own, and what He testifies on our behalf is good. Though The Accuser and those who are of the same spirit often testify against us, they will not prevail because the testimony of Jesus and those who are of His Spirit are greater. If we need to be defended, then He will come to our defense by the Spirit of Truth within us. If we need to be killed, then He will raise us. We do not need to worry about how we appear to others who judge according to appearances or in an otherwise unrighteous manner. We do not need to fear anyone. We will stand by one another in the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and He has the final say.


[i] Isaiah 11:3-5

[ii] John 7


This is an excerpt from a chapter I am working on within These Things Saith He. It is good to know that Jesus is on our side. It is also good to remember that He rebukes us when we need it, including when we judge according to the appearance of a thing or in an otherwise unjust or unrighteous manner.

We should not be concerned with how we appear, but rather, that we should bring glory to Jesus. We also should strive to be faithful and true witnesses of the true things of Jesus as He gives to us. We also should strive to do the same for one another in the faith as we welcome the truth from our brethren. We do not sugar coat each others sins or flatter, but we also should not be quick to broadcast one another’s faults. We should always be on guard against the enemy who accuses us and our brethren before man and God. The Accuser is good at accusing us and turning us against each other. I need to stay on guard, too.

Previous Completed Chapter: Unto the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia

Previous Portion of This Current Chapter: Jesus is the Amen.

Which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.

One thing that frustrates me the most is when my words or actions or are misinterpreted for evil when I intended them for good. This seems to happen a lot, so it must be that I am terrible at communication. I know that can be the case.

Other times, I wonder if the misinterpretations are a reflection of the person making the false accusation. This is called Projection. When we find ourselves judging the inner intentions or thoughts of others, we are in most danger of false accusations and slanders. We are also in danger of revealing ourselves. I know I have done this, so I should not get upset when it is done to me. It can be very frustrating though, and it makes me want to refrain from saying or doing any good. It tempts me to call those who I consider friends, family, or loved ones my enemy. I’ve removed myself from people for such things.

Blessing is made into cursing. A “God bless you” is said to be somehow rude or charged with hidden attack, when in reality, I see the person as greater than myself, so what do I have to offer? What blessing can I give? The best blessing I know is to say, “God bless you,” because He gives all good things.

I’m always trying to one-up people, supposedly. In reality, I do not have a competitive or maliciously envious bone in my body, and this makes me an easy target for people who actually want to one up me, and I’m always confused by that. It’s not hard to be better than me, and I try to be open about my faults. Of course, I have an agenda there, too. In reality, I like to be honest about the shortcomings that I am aware of, work with other people, take in their ideas, and consider their strengths because I value the good things God gives them. I do not like to be accused of thinking I’m better. When in reality, I feel less than most people.

I think I get this accusation because I am very direct, and I do not shy away from standing up for what is right. It isn’t a personal thing, but people do take it personally when you point out their wrongdoings. I can be rough around the edges because I do not beat around the bush. I hate subtly, even when it should be called for. People don’t like being told the truth. I am learning tact and Godly subtlety. It is hard for me. Generally, I mean what I say and I say what I mean. I hate nuance, and I hate reading between the lines of what other people say, so I try to be blunt in all things.

I can give gifts to someone in need and help them out during times of trouble, and it is assumed that I want something in exchange. There must be strings attached, or I’m doing good “to be seen of men.” Could it not be that I give because I know what it is like to have little and to struggle, so any relief I can bring makes me feel happy?

I like to give to others things I do not myself have. If I feel down, I give encouragement, for example. Not because I need it from others, but I need it from God, and He often rewards us for being that way. I think some of my best writing is done in my lowest states. I also think about the scripture that says, if someone has need and you have it beside you, do not withhold it. So, If I have it, I give it. Even if I don’t technically have it to give in the long-term. Jesus said so, and this is one teaching I can do happily.

Blessing those that curse you, not so much. I have a very hard time with that, especially in regards those those who want to take the good that I would do and turn it into evil, exaggerate my faults, or look for reasons to sow conflict between myself and others using triangulation. Actually, I do hold my tongue a lot. I see a lot more than people think I do.

If people want to see me in such a bad light, then they might just get what they see. If I were actually as people accuse, it would not go well for them. I can be a fool at times, sure, but I’m no dummy either. I thank God that I don’t have it in my heart to do some of the things I am intellectually capable of, even when it is tempting. I pray that I am never tempted beyond what I can bear.

Then, I think about scripture like the one mentioned in the title. People are always taking the things that God does and making them evil when they are not. People are always putting words in His mouth by mishandling what He says, or attributing His deeds as evil when He only has the best intentions for us. If He can put up with it, perhaps He will help me do the same.

Here is another fearful thought. His words test us. I can see how that is true. When we judge the heart of God in how we use His word, we reveal things about ourselves. I need to be most concerned about how I handle His words. I try to be careful. One day, He will defend His Name and it will not go well for many. I will help if I can. If I have His back, then He will have mine. He already does. He has my back and teaches me so I can have His. Be careful with your accusations.

I write this in part for selfish reasons, I admit. I am venting because I do not want a “root of bitterness” in my heart. I also write this so that some might consider. The accuser is our enemy. Do not serve him. I try to be aware of this, too.

“They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind”

Jesus is the Amen.

These things saith, the Amen…” From Revelation 3 in the Letter to the Laodiceans.

Verily, Verily, I say unto thee…

How many times did Jesus begin a statement by saying, “verily?” This is the same word as “Amen,” and it means “truly.” This is used to accentuate the truthfulness of the statement and the significance of the statement being made. In this letter to the Laodiceans, Jesus isn’t simply stating another one of His many “verily, verily” sayings; He is The Verily. Jesus is The Amen. How remarkable.

Of all those statements that Jesus made, He is the truth and driving force behind them. They are true because He said them, and He cannot lie. Jesus does not say, yes and no. His yes means yes. If He says something will be, then it will be. If we were to compile a list of all Jesus’s “verily” statements, with the gravity that they deserve as sayings put into the world by He who Is the Verily—He who Is the Word of God—how might this impact us? Below are many of them:

  • Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing (Matthew 5:25-26).
  • Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward (Matthew 6:2).
  • And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Matthew 10:14-15).
  • And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward (Matthew 10:42).
  • For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them (Matthew 13:17).
  • Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:19-20).
  • And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).
  • How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:12-14).
  • Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18).
  • Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23).
  • And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).
  • Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:11-13).
  • And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me (Matthew 25:40).
  • Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:27-29).
  • And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).
  • And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country (Luke 4:24).
  • Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord (Luke 13:34-35).
  • Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:3-6).
  • Verilyverily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (John 5:24).
  • Jesus answered them, Verilyverily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin (John 8:34).
  • Verilyverily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death (John 8:51).
  • And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal (John 12:23-25).
  • Verilyverily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John14:12).
  • And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verilyverily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you (John 16:23).

This is an excerpt from a chapter that I’m currently working on for These Things Saith He. It’s amazing to consider Jesus as “The Amen” or “The Verily,” and when we embrace what The Amen has Himself stated with great emphasis, we might be on our way to taking the things of our faith with greater reverence, gratitude, and trust towards Jesus. I know that I do not fully appreciate all that He has said. If what He says is true and significant, then we should live by what He said. If we can’t, then we seek Him so that His Spirit can work in out in us.

Previous Chapter: Unto the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia

Unto the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia

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.

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.

11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

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.

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (Revelation 3:1-13).

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.

Jesus is uniquely set apart from this world; He is completely genuine and sincere. Jesus is the Everlasting King on the Throne of David, and He decides who gets into His kingdom and who does not. The above statement is important because it reminds us that Jesus is perfectly worthy to rule, He will establish His kingdom, and He is true to what He said about everything His kingdom and His kingship entails.

Jesus is Holy.

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” [i]

What does it mean to be holy? Holy means sacred or set apart from this world for God’s purposes. Jesus is sacred and set apart in a manner that is unique to Himself because He is the first begotten Son of God and Savior of mankind. Jesus is also the only person to walk in the flesh without sin because He is God incarnate, conceived by the Holy Spirit of God.

There is no other like Him, and there is no other method of salvation for mankind. None of us have lived a truly holy life because none have lived a life separate from sin, and as such, none of us are naturally suitable for everlasting life because we are creatures of this world and not of the Kingdom of God.

However, through faith and the grace of God, we are made holy by Jesus, and He instructs us to be holy because He is holy. We will not be holy as He is holy—not in the unique sense that only He can possess by shear means of who He is—but by the perfect sacrifice that He made and sincere dedication to living a life that is set apart, or holy, for His purposes.

Here are some scriptures about the holiness of Jesus and how we as believers should strive in holiness also:

  • There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God (1 Samuel 2).
  • For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones (Isaiah 57:15).
  • Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright (Hebrews 12:11-16).
  • And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8)
  • Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:13-16).
  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6).
  • And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest (Revelation 15:3-4).

Jesus is True.

“To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” [ii]

There are many kinds of truth, but there is only one truth that saves mankind, and this is He who is Truth: Jesus our Lord and Savior. Jesus speaks factual truths and moral truths that guide man in the right way, but more than that, He is true in every meaning of the word. Not only is Jesus the perfect embodiment of what it means to understand and speak truth; He demonstrates what it means to be true.

Jesus is completely true in His character. Meaning, Jesus is completely genuine and sincere. He Is Who He Is, through and through—without hypocrisy, fakery, flattery, or deception of any kind. He does not change His aim or His character, because all that He does is right. Jesus is always true in His doings. Meaning, He is completely righteous. He always hits the mark of perfection in all that He says and does, and there are no unrighteous motivations in Him. Jesus is also true in the sense of faithfulness. If He says that He will do something, then He will do it. If He says that something will be, then it will be.

Who is like Him? Who is true like He is true? If we were true like He is true, then we would not be sinners. Thanks be to God that Jesus provided a true and perfect sacrifice for those who would put their faith in Him. Through Him, we are forgiven and considered righteous in the eyes of God.

Through Him and the Spirit of Truth that He promised, we can experience a change of nature that changes us from creatures that are untrue in character to those who are more like He is. As Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” [iii]

Below are some scriptures that pertain to Jesus as He Who Is True:

  • God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19).
  • And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3).
  • God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged (Romans 3:4).
  • That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes (Isaiah 65:16).
  • And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
  • Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

Jesus Has and Is the Key of David.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” [iv]

The Son of God was given to mankind to take away their sins and to establish the Kingdom of God. This is the Good News of the Kingdom of God. This is a manifold kingdom that comes first by the Spirit of God and again when Jesus returns bodily. Both are paid for by the blood of the Son of God, because without His sacrifice none could enter this kingdom because it is a kingdom of righteousness, and all have sinned. Jesus is the key. Without Jesus, there is only death and destruction.

He must come by His Spirit to free the hearts of man from their sinful nature, thereby bringing the kingdom that comes “not with observation” and is “within you.” [v] Just as Jesus was born in the flesh by the Holy Spirit to take away our sins, so is He born in His children. His Spirit grows in us, changing us overtime so that we grow in the ability to walk as He walked in this present world, pushing on until the day that we are raised from the dead and our birth fully accomplished. [vi] Although He reigns in us by the Spirit given to us, He also reigns in Heaven. All things are put under His feet, but we do not see that all things are under Him until He reigns in the earth. [vii]

Jesus must return. He will overthrow all the wicked rulers of this world—just as He overthrew the wicked rulers of our hearts—and those who He has reigned over in heart will rise from the dead or transfigure into renewed bodies and reign with Him in the earth. [viii]

Before that day, His church is strengthened as they renew their hearts through remembering, returning to, and thereby bringing forth He whose gospel was nearly forgotten by many—yet always alive in a few. [ix] Satan is cast out of heaven in spirit and manifested in this present world. Tribulation comes to the earth such as was never experienced. [x]

The Throne of David is usurped for a time, but the true King will come, and His key is always in His hand and His alone. We can trust in His return—a return that will establish a righteous kingdom as He destroys all wickedness including that Wicked One “with the brightness of His coming.” [xi] We can “look to the sky for your redemption draws nigh” [xii] in faith because the Good News of the Kingdom of God is sure and must be fulfilled:

  • And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:31-33).
  • And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open (Isaiah 22:20-22).
  • Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness (Isaiah 16:4-5).
  • In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this (Amos 9:11-12).
  • Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

Jesus Opens and Shuts the Way.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” [xiii]

As Christians, our hope is in the grace of God. We understand grace to mean the undeserved favor of God. It is the favor of God that gives us faith so that we can approach Jesus for mercy and forgiveness. Through the gift of faith, we are also healed and transformed by His Spirit that lives within us. As this transformation occurs, we can live righteously as the Father would have His children to do. This is the work of Jesus in us.

All things that a Christian receives are hinged on the grace of God, and it is by grace alone that we stand. God does not choose us to salvation and entrance into His kingdom because we are good people. Rather, we are made good because we are saved. Our salvation brings glory to God in that He shows mercy to sinners, and by His patience and the work of His Spirit we can turn away from a life of sin and destruction.

It is also true that not all receive the same grace from God. For some, they receive the grace of living this life only. For those who are being raised as sons of God, life eternal. God can do whatever He wants with what belongs to Him—and everything belongs to Him. Not all have faith because not all were given faith, and not all have the same measure of faith. God opens and shuts. He gives mercy at His discretion, and He withholds mercy at His discretion so that His purposes are fulfilled.  Below are some scriptures about the sovereign grace of God:

  • For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy (Romans 9:15-16).
  • Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Romans 9:18-21).
  • But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-9).
  • Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last (Luke 13:23-30).

As those who overcome as seen in Revelation 15 say of Jesus, “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” [xiv]Only Jesus is holy as He is holy. He is the truth, and all that He does is true. He gives mercy at His discretion, and His judgment is just—and He will return and reign, and all will worship Him. With these attributes of Christ in mind, let us do our best to consider what the Spirit is saying to the Church of Philadelphia.

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.

These words of comfort are glad to be received by such a one as Philadelphia. Being sometimes weak in the faith, keeping the words of Jesus and all that He stands for can seem like an impossible feat. The calling to a life of holiness seems attainable at times, and at other times seems to fall flat amid painful struggling against sin, only to find greater depths of wretchedness that needs to be dealt with.

The calling to truth can at times seem overshadowed by a world of lies and treachery, both within the faith and without. This is especially true when searching for He who Is True. Many claim to know Him, but He does not claim to know them. Where should the seeking Christian go for instruction, and how can one who is coming to know Jesus teach amid the treacherous territory of false doctrine and false teachers?

In all things, the grace of God is a welcome retreat from the failings of the flesh—a grace that Jesus gives at His discretion according to the sovereign will of the Father. God is in full control, and He has predestined some to serve Him faithfully and He has predestined those who would betray Christ and His followers.

He knows their works. Contrast this with “depart from me, you who work iniquity. I never knew you.” [xv] Philadelphia will not hear those words. Despite their weakness—and indeed because of it—they have learned by the grace of God to trust in Jesus Christ alone. They cannot trust in their own “holiness.” They embrace the wise proverb, “lean not on your own understanding” [xvi] as they realize that truth can be elusive, and the wisdom of fools is not far from their own heart at times. Who can know the mind of God? Who can know He who Is Truth? They cannot by any means be worthy enough for the Kingdom of God, yet they strive in faith, trusting in the work of the cross and the sanctification of the Spirit as promised.

They do not hide their little strength from Jesus, but rather, they run to Him because of it as they confess their sin openly as one who “walks in the light” [xvii] with sorrow of heart, and with faith—sometimes great faith and sometimes little faith—hoping for the redemption of their soul and evidence of their salvation through a life that more resembles their Lord, Jesus.

Jesus has set before them an open door. The grace of God through Jesus Christ that makes one welcome residents of the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them, even if they do not presently see this as they would like. Just as all wait to see Jesus reign in this present world, so do they wait in faith patiently trusting in this promise. The door is already open. It must yet be fulfilled that they should walk through it. As Paul the apostle wrote, “this mortal must put on immortality.” [xviii] That which is sown in corruption will be raised in newness of life, and this promise of God will one day be fulfilled—and their little strength will not prevent it because this is the work of Jesus in them.

Few pains are like that of a Christian who fears their weakness—who worries that they have disappointed Jesus and will fail to inherit the Kingdom of God. No. They have kept His words. They have remained faithful ministers of the truth they were given. They have not denied His name. By seeking Jesus earnestly as one who has a “poor and contrite spirit,” they have kept the faith. Their works are that of a broken heart, praise, thanksgiving, trust, and a desire to see the Kingdom of God furthered in this present world, and none of that as perfectly as they would have it. One day they will hear, “well done, thou good and faithful servant,” [xix] to which they respond, “I am an unprofitable servant. I did that which was my duty to do.” [xx]

“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.”

There are many who claim to be Jews; there are many who claim that God is their Father, but they are not truly redeemed from the snares of their real father, the devil and Satan. [xxi] Although we are all naturally the spiritual children of Satan, in that we have served sin, some continue in his works without real repentance and contrition of heart. What’s worse is when they discourage the true believer from pursuing a life of holiness and truth in Christ Jesus alone. Some are holier-than-thou, casting the “sinner” far away in a hypocritical and unjust manner. Some embrace a life of sin and discourage the faithful from furthering their walk in Christ. Some scoff at true Christian doctrine, esteeming the characteristics of God to be hateful, outdated, or unjust. Many use all the above to accuse and condemn the children of God as false followers, apostates, and so forth.

Such treatment can be enough to make little-strength Philadelphia’s heart faint and might even cause them to call their faith, Christian service, and even their sanity into question. Yet, there is reassurance from Jesus. He knows of the Synagogue of Satan, and He will cause them to know that Jesus has loved them.

As it is written near the close of Isaiah, “your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake said, ‘let the Lord be glorified!’ Yet He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” [xxii] Those who overcome will sit with Jesus in His throne, and as all confess that Jesus is Lord and bow before Him, so will they bow before those who are with Him as it is written in scripture: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [xxiii]

“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.”

There are numerous scriptures detailing the awe-inspiring patience of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. In keeping the ideas within these scriptures, the heart is kept from the hour of temptation—the hour in which man denies the patience of God and is fully given to the darkness of this world, even the Prince of Darkness himself.

Giving into this temptation can cause a person to be as one who says, “the Lord delays His coming” and is found “drunken and smiting their fellow servant.” [xxiv] It is said of the Great Whore in Revelation 17 that she is “drunken with the blood of saints of all that were slain upon the earth.” If we do not patiently wait on Jesus, but instead become full of vengeance, wrath, and self-righteous indignation, then we will invariably follow the false Christ and join in his persecutions.

Vengeance is God’s and He will have it. He will raise up servants with power to cast plagues and to slay man by the word of God that they speak. [xxv] However, this is done by the Spirit and the will of God—not by their own corruption of heart. They patiently wait for this calling also, as those who seek peace and pursue it, preach the gospel, and trust in the timing and provision of the Holy Spirit’s outpour into hearts of the remnant of God’s chosen people for the purpose of encouraging repentance and boldly standing against the Son of Destruction.

Scriptural ideas pertaining the patience of Jesus include the following (scripture is cited and a summary is provided. Reading the cited scripture is encouraged):

1 Peter 1-2: Our faith is tried as we endure many temptations, but if we patiently continue in well-doing, then we will receive the reward of our faith which is a crown of life. In our patience, we should remember the example of Jesus—He who patiently suffered the wrongs of evil men without being overcome by evil Himself but remained blameless in word and in deed.

2 Peter 3: We patiently wait on the Lord, even as others scoff at us and mock us stating that our Lord has delayed His coming. We know that the Lord will fulfill His promises, but He is patient as He gives time and space for all who belong to Him to repent. As we patiently endure ridicule, we can rejoice in knowing that the Lord is making time for our brethren to come to Him. We also know that Jesus will return and judge, and we want to be found faithful at His coming because the unrighteous cannot stand in His presence.

Romans 2: We should not despise the patience of God that leads many to repentance. We also remember that Jesus judges without respect of persons, meaning no one is too big and important get away with sin not repented of. We may need some time to repent ourselves, so we should not be so quick to see the judgment of God, nor should we be overly eager to judge one another.

Romans 5: Difficult times make us stronger and increases our patience, experience, and hope in the Lord. We remember that Jesus died for the ungodly, and we are justified by His sacrifice. We are not going to face His wrath, and as we grow in the faith, we have more confidence in our salvation as we experience the mercy and patience of the Lord first-hand.

Romans 9: Jesus endures the wicked patiently until His work is completed, and He is in control of all things. He will save all who He intends to save. Jesus is glorified in the wicked, so when we feel disheartened because of the wicked who seem to prevail, we can know that they will bring honor to God in the end and all things are coming together for our good.

James 5: Suffer affliction with patience just as the prophets suffered and as Jesus also suffered. Even now He endures much until the time of His coming is accomplished. Take comfort in His mercy and compassion for those who suffer for His sake.

Hebrews 6: Having received correct instruction in the faith, let us go on to perfection in faith, knowing that we have assured victory in Jesus Christ who came before us. Be followers of those who with faith received the promises of God, as Abraham. If we continue in this faith, we will see the work of the Lord, Jesus in us.

We might notice recurring ideas.

Jesus died for the ungodly, and this includes us. We can have faith in His sacrifice, even as our faith is tried by a life among those who would do us harm or do harm to the Christian faith.

We endure suffering with patience, not repaying evil for evil, because we know that this is the calling we have as Christians. Having received mercy, how can we do anything but give it?

We endure knowing that Jesus is no respecter of important persons, so we should not be so high and mighty in our judgements of others, but rather we should look to our own sin and be glad that Jesus gives many—including us—time to repent.

Just because we are covered by His blood does not mean we have no need to repent of the sins that we live out in this present world. However, we repent in good faith, knowing that He will save all who He intends to save—and this means allowing the wicked to continue until His time has come to return and judge the earth.

He will come and He will fulfill His promises—this is both a fearful and wonderful thing, so we should live out our days in this world in godly fear of the Lord and in faith, seeking the grace of God and placing our trust in the sufficient sacrifice of the Son as we grow in our knowledge of Him and our ability to live in a manner that is pleasing to Him—a manner that means enduring the wicked with righteousness and with patience.

His work will be done in us. It can be difficult to endure the trying of our faith, especially when sin clings to us. However, we have peace knowing that we are the work of Christ, and He will complete is work. We continue in patience, bearing the cross spiritually as we die to self and are made more like Him. This work will be done. We will go on to perfection, so let us never yield to sin.

As with all of Philadelphia’s imperfections, keeping the patience of the Lord imperfectly is a difficult cross to bear. However, as the scriptures promise, when we call out to Jesus, He will hear us and deliver us from all our troubles. Especially the troubles of sinful thoughts and actions, overwhelming emotions, and dreadful fears, even fears of denying the Lord Himself and of great failure in the faith. His grace is sufficient, even when the patience we have is weak. As the scriptures say, Christ is made strong in weakness, and as we continue, patience will have its perfect work one day. His Spirit will embolden, strengthen, and set an open door before His chosen so they can faithfully testify as witnesses of Jesus Christ.

“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.”

To be a firmly set fixture in the house of God is a glorious promise and comfort for one whose strength is little and one who seems to have no sound and sure place in this world. It is a comfort because of their own weakness—weakness that makes them feel as though they cannot help but come in and out of the presence of God time and time again, though if they could, they would never again leave or yield to sin. This is a comfort because they long for a place, and not just any place, but one that is with Jesus Himself and those who love Him in sincerity. Though they bear a name of shame in the earth, meaning they have no reputation to boast of among man, they receive a name of victory in Christ as He claims them as His own.

Concern for Present-Day Ministers of Jesus

It is important for minsters of Christ to set a good example of the patience of Jesus Christ. This seems to have a few applications.

One, this means turning away from a life of wonton sin and love of this world. Yet, it also means being an example of patiently enduring the fight against sin with honesty, humility, and the right attitude toward sin. Sin in not acceptable in any measure, and we will overcome. In-fact, we have overcome already because we serve a God that “calls things that are not as though they are.” [xxvi] Even so, as John stated, “be not deceived. He that does righteousness is righteous.” [xxvii] We are not to be cavalier over sin, treating it as some light thing that we all do every day. We want our sins to be fewer and fewer, and when found within ourselves, something that we fervently abhor.

Being open about failings and sinful struggles—with reverence for the blood of Jesus and with wise discretion so as not to cause brethren to stumble into sin—will benefit many but it will not appeal to everyone.  

This will not appeal to those who want to claim holiness prematurely. This occurs on two spectrums. There are those who are of the traditional “holiness” mindset that claim premature perfection. They do not overtly corrupt the judgement of God or His standards, though they often fill their sins in with legalistic practices or other forms of justification that are not according to a Spiritual application of the scripture. On the other side, there are those who have so twisted holiness that good is made evil and evil is made good. For some, sin is holiness. Many deny honest striving against sin, because sin is not properly defined, but praised and something to be honored.

In both instances, the striving sinner is mocked by many. However, your honesty is comforting to those whose sin weakens their faith. Demonstrating the same, patient fight against sin can be a welcome rest from the hardness and holier-than-thou attitude exhibited by many on both extremes ranging from Sardis to Thyatira, respectively.

However, the longer the journey in the faith, the greater the progress. Expect progress, and be an example of this too in humility, not as an old wine skin, knowing that there is yet more to gain. Do not quench or grieve the Spirit of God. We are never so good, wise, or perfect as He who is from everlasting to everlasting. To claim perfection in this present life neglects the patience of a saint of God—the patience that we must wait for the redemption of our bodies to achieve the fullness of our birth in Christ. As we wait, we trust in the words of our Savior. He says that His work is done, and it is done and will be done. “He that began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.” [xxviii]

Secondly, this means enduring others with patience. Just as we want Jesus to continue dealing patiently with us, so do we strive to show patience with others. This means rebuking sin truthfully, but also with as much humility as possible so as not to encourage people to feel as if they are better than other people. It is by grace that we stand.

There is a time for all things, including a sharp rebuke—even one that removes unrepentant, harmful sinners and heresies from the church. However, we remember Jesus who said, “you know not what spirit you are of.” [xxix] If such a rebuke is not done exclusively by the Holy Spirit but is instead more like the spirits of devils and Satan as we falsely accuse, slander, and refuse patience where it is due, then we ourselves are in danger of judgment if we do not repent. Not all are given this authority; not all are apostles or prophets. If we “covet the greater gifts,” [xxx] as the apostle Paul encourages, then we should patiently wait for the Lord. We are His servants, and what matters most is that we are, by the grace of God, willing to do whatever He calls us to do to the glory of our Father.

Thirdly, we patiently wait on the coming of Jesus and encourage others to do the same. This means encouraging the faith of those who are shaken by His seemingly delayed coming. “One day with God is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” [xxxi] He will return and He will fulfill His promises. This also means encouraging others to wait on the judgment of God as given to the Son, Jesus. He will avenge. We wait on He who will come to avenge the blood of all who are slain for His sake. “He that leads into captivity must go into captivity. He that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” [xxxii]

This also means enduring suffering and persecution with patience, not repaying evil for evil, but striving to overcome evil with good. Consider the letter to the church of Smyrna for more on the suffering of the faithful Christian—a suffering that no false “rapture” notion will prevent. There is no rapture, but there is the resurrection, and we can be kept from temptation by calling out to Jesus with faith and patience, trusting Him to deliver our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies from the ultimate evil: Death.

All the above applies to patiently enduring the ridicule from those who claim to be of the faith but are not. All things are going according to the preordained will of God, and all things are working for His glory and for our benefit. Those who mock, slander, persecute, or murder the humble sinner who strives in the narrow way will be made to bow before Jesus and those who faithfully follow Him, and in the Kingdom to come, there is a great and everlasting reward.

Concern for Present-Day Christian Brethren Generally

Good instruction is very beneficial, but there is a lot of misguided and even dangerous instruction in the world. There are many who claim to be ministers of God, but they are either immature or they are imposters. The best way to find faithful ministers of the gospel is to seek Jesus. Ask Him to show you where to go or ask that He teach you Himself by the Holy Spirit. He can give a gift of understanding to anyone as He chooses. Search the scriptures as you are able, and above all, ask to receive the Holy Spirit that makes all things known to us according to God’s perfect timing and methods.

In all things, strive to keep the patience of Jesus Christ as described throughout this chapter. What applies to the ministers of God applies to all, because as we grow in the faith, each of us should reach a point in which we have some capacity to teach the things of God to others. Once we come to others in His name, we are ministering in some capacity. This is not exclusive to pastors, preachers, bible teachers, and the like.

We all should strive to become a minister of the things of Jesus Christ and to reach a point in our walk in which the Spirit guides us first. Then, we receive the teachings of others as a comfort and welcome fellowship, but not as one who is unable to stand on his or her own two feet by the grace of the Lord.

It is a great failing within the faith today to make people feel as if they must depend on leaders within “church.” We who are of the Spirit of God are the church, and we are being made into sons of God. Therefore, we need to mature. True leaders in the faith should encourage their fellow servants to become sufficient in the Lord by the Spirit within them. Not that fellowship becomes less needful. What becomes less needful is having a few exalted too highly while keeping their congregants in a perpetual state of infancy.

Yet, let us always consider our state as babes in Christ. We remain humble before Him, seek Him, trust in Him, and look to have more of the Christ-like nature manifest in the way that we live out our lives.

Never let anyone discourage you from seeking a life of holiness, and this includes remaining honest and sorry for sin as we patiently wait for Christ to be formed in us. Jesus is holy. Jesus is true. Jesus has the key of David. Turn to Him and place Him ahead of all else, and with patience attain all that He has in store for you.

On a final note, do not be discouraged when what Jesus has in store for you means suffering in this world. Jesus said that we should expect the world to hate us, and we should expect our enemy, Satan, to roam around and do whatever he can to devour the children of God. Resist him in faith and patiently continue despite your battle wounds, because you already have the victory in Christ. Do not let anyone accuse your faith because of your suffering or your troubles with sin for which you are sorrowful and honest before God. Many have suffered and died for the faith, and this was not a sign of God’s wrath or of failure on the part of the believer. Rather, suffering makes us more like Christ, and the more we patiently suffer for righteousness’ sake, the greater the reward in heaven.

In Conclusion

Let’s begin our conclusion by returning our minds toward He who wrote this letter by His Spirit. Jesus, the Holy one of Israel who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, has overcome all things including death, so that we can overcome also. Our God is in full control of all things, and nothing can frustrate His plans. We can trust in all that He said He will do because His word is true. We can consider it done already even though we do not presently see all things fulfilled.

Though we are not perfectly holy, we take the calling of holiness seriously. Though we humbly know that we cannot know all truth, we strive to be faithful ministers of whatever measure of truth we are given as we first strive to know He who is the Truth, and most importantly, strive to be known by Him. We should live in the light as John states in 1 John 1. We do not try to hide our sin from God, pay lip service to Jesus, or take His sacrifice and promises for granted.

Jesus will perform His work in us, and His work is always perfect. We will be perfect because we must be made perfect. His kingdom is one of righteousness, and by His blood and the gift of grace through God-given faith, we attain. We have passed from judgment to life, and the Spirit equips us to serve our Lord, and by the Spirit, our mortal bodies are renewed now and in the resurrection to come.

The Church of Philadelphia is one of the two who received no rebuke from the Spirit of the Lord. The other is the Church of Smyrna. Despite having little strength, Philadelphia has not denied Jesus and all that His name represents. Perhaps they need this acknowledgement.

When we are surrounded by enemies of the faith, especially those who claim to be of the faith but are not fully committed or not committed at all, we might begin to question ourselves. When many claim that it is we who have denied the faith, we might at times wonder if this is true. Especially if we have little strength. Perhaps they are also hard on themselves, always feeling as if they are falling short and have become a disappointment to God.

Jesus provides affirmation. Because of their faithfulness despite weakness, through faith and the grace of God, He has set before them an open door. It was foretold that David would have an heir who would reign forever. This heir is Jesus, and His Kingdom is His to give as He wills.

Perhaps Jesus is blessing this church in the things of the Kingdom in gracious measure through gifts of the Spirit to the glory of God. Perhaps He is reminding them that He is the One who gets to decide who will reside with Him in His kingdom to come, not those who oppose this church or ostracize this church for not following suit with the ways of the Synagogue of Satan. Perhaps it is both.

Jesus acknowledges that He is aware of the Synagogue of Satan. He then declares that He will cause the Synagogue of Satan to worship before the feet of Philadelphia as they fulfill a scripture that states, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess the Lord, Jesus.”  

Despite being an outsider among many, and despite being aware of the Synagogue of Satan, Philadelphia does not condemn their fellow servants. Instead, this church holds to the teachings of Jesus, such as the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. They understand that many might seem to be false Christians, but they are merely immature Christians. They understand that judgment will come at a time when the Lord deems, so they refrain from judging others before their time.

They might also recall what Jesus said about those who are found “drunken and smiting their fellow servants” at His return. He stated that these are counted among the unbelievers.

They might also consider the story of David and Saul. David remained faithful to Saul, even when Saul despised him and wanted him killed. David did not retaliate or take vengeance into his own hands, even when given opportunity to do so.

In addition to remaining patient with their fellow servants among Christianity, Philadelphia shows patience with the world at large. They do not fight as man fights or for the same goals. Man fights with weapons of this world to gain the kingdoms of this world. Philadelphia fights with the weapons of the Spirit to further the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus states that the hour of temptation will try all who dwell on the earth. It seems likely that this hour of temptation coincides with the coming of the false prophet and false god. When he comes, we will also see the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon at her full—who one can reasonably assume includes all the false churches. These churches will actively persecute the true saints of God and all who fail to “worship the beast and his image or receive the mark of his name.” [xxxiii]

There are a few ways this church might be kept, and both are probably true. The first way that they are kept is in spirit. They are kept from the deception of a false, blood-thirsty god and his drunken whore-bride. The second way that they are kept is in death with the promise of resurrection. The ultimate hour of temptation comes when those who are faithful to Jesus are overcome and killed by the beast and his armies. The world will think that they have won and that their god has overcome all descent, leading to great celebration and whole-hearted allegiance to the false god.

Philadelphia is encouraged to “let no man take thy crown.” In other scripture, Jesus says that those who overcome will be given a “crown of life.” Philadelphia has gained the crown of life, and they are encouraged to let no one take it from them. They should not let the Synagogue of Satan discourage them or falsely accuse their faith. They also should not let the warring of man cause them to deny the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus will come speedily, and He will avenge. “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.”

Living as a Christian in a time of faithlessness and hedonism is sure to be a lonesome and difficult time in which to live. All who are faithful to Jesus experience times of feeling cast out, and Jesus said it would be so. We are not of the world, so the world does not love us. We might not find a real home or place in this earth, but we do have a place. We will be part of the Kingdom of Heaven forever.

New Jerusalem is described in Revelation 19 and 22. All who are faithful to Jesus are part of this Holy City, and they inherit with Jesus. They also receive the new name of Jesus, signifying that they are one with Him and claimed by Him. Philadelphia might have had a name of shame before, meaning they were of no reputation and honor among man, but in Christ they have honor in Him because they glorify Him and not this world.

Additional Scriptures when Considering the Letter to the Church of Philadelphia

  • For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (2 Peter 2:20-25).
  • And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;Who will render to every man according to his deeds:To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:For there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:3-11).
  • Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water (2 Peter 3:20).
  • Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved (Romans 9:21-25).
  • Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:14-21).
  • Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy (James 5:7-11).
  • And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:11-15).
  • And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled (Revelation 6:9-11).
  • And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (Revelation 13:7-10).
  • And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:11-13).

[i] Luke 1:35

[ii] John 18:37

[iii] John 17:16-19

[iv] Isaiah 9:6-7

[v][v] Luke 17:20

[vi] Galatians 4:19

[vii] Hebrews 2:8

[viii] 1 Thessalonians 4

[ix] Malachi 3

[x] Revelation 12, Daniel 12, Mathew 24

[xi] 2 Thessalonians 2:8

[xii] Luke 21:28

[xiii] Ephesians 2:8-10

[xiv] Revelation 15:4

[xv][xv] Matthew 7:23

[xvi][xvi] Proverb 3

[xvii][xvii] 1 John 1:7, Ephesians 5

[xviii] 1 Corinthians 15:53-58

[xix] Matthew 25

[xx] Luke 17:10

[xxi] John 8

[xxii] Isaiah 66

[xxiii] Philippians 2:10-11

[xxiv] Matthew 24:48-50

[xxv] Revelation 11

[xxvi] Romans 4

[xxvii] 1 John 3

[xxviii] Philippians 1:6

[xxix] Luke 9

[xxx] 1 Corinthians 12:31

[xxxi] 2 Peter 3

[xxxii] Revelation 13

[xxxiii] Revelation 14


Previous Chapter: These Things Saith He Unto the Angel of the Church in Sardis

Introduction explaining the purpose behind These Things Saith He

Method of Interpretation Used within These Things Saith He

Brief Explanation of Symbolism Found Within the Letters to the Churches

Concluding Considerations for the Letter to the Church of Philadelphia

For Ministers of Jesus

It is important for minsters of Christ to set a good example of the patience of Jesus Christ. This seems to have a few applications.

One, this means turning away from a life of wonton sin and love of this world. Yet, it also means being an example of patiently enduring the fight against sin with honesty and humility. Being open about failings and sinful struggles, with wise discretion, will benefit many but it will not appeal to everyone.  

This will not appeal to those who want to claim holiness prematurely. This occurs on two spectrums. There are those who are of the traditional “holiness” mindset that claim premature perfection. They do not overtly corrupt the judgement of God or His standards, though they often fill their sins in with legalistic practices or other forms of justification that are not according to a Spiritual application of the scripture. On the other side, there are those who have so twisted holiness that good is made evil and evil is made good. For some, sin is holiness. Many deny honest striving against sin, because sin is not properly defined, but praised and something to be honored.

 In both instances, the striving sinner is mocked by many. However, your honesty is comforting to those whose sin weakens their faith. Demonstrating the same, patient fight against sin can be a welcome rest from the hardness and holier-than-thou attitude exhibited by many on both extremes ranging from Sardis to Thyatira, respectively.

However, the longer the journey in the faith, the greater the progress. Expect progress, and be an example of this too in humility, as an old wine skin, knowing that there is yet more to gain. Do not quench or grieve the Spirit of God. We are never so good, wise, or perfect as He who is from everlasting to everlasting. To claim perfection in this present life neglects the patience of a saint of God—the patience that we must wait for the redemption of our bodies to achieve the fullness of our birth in Christ. As we wait, we trust in the words of our Savior. He says that His work is done, and it is done and will be done. “He that began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.”

Secondly, this means enduring others with patience. Just as we want Jesus to continue dealing patiently with us, so do we strive to show patience with others. This means rebuking sin truthfully, but also with as much humility as possible so as not to encourage people to feel as if they are better than other people. It is by grace that we stand. “If not for the grace of God, there go I.”

Thirdly, we patiently wait on the coming of Jesus and encourage others to do the same. This means encouraging the faith of those who are shaken by His seemingly delayed coming. “One day with God is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” He will return and He will fulfill His promises. This also means encouraging others to wait on the judgment of God as given to the Son, Jesus. He will avenge. We cannot give into spirits of accusation, slander, vengeance and murder, but rather, wait on He who will come to avenge the blood of all who are slain for His sake. “He that leads into captivity must go into captivity. He that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

This also means enduring suffering and persecution with patience, not repaying evil for evil, but striving to overcome evil with good. Consider the letter to the church of Smyrna for more on the suffering of the faithful Christian—a suffering that no false “rapture” notion will prevent. There is no rapture, but there is the resurrection, and we can be kept from temptation by calling out to Jesus with faith and patience, trusting Him to deliver our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies from the ultimate evil: Death.

All the above applies to patiently enduring the ridicule from those who claim to be of the faith but are not. All things are going according to the preordained will of God, and all things are working for His glory and for our benefit. Those who mock, slander, persecute, or murder the humble sinner who strives in the narrow way will be made to bow before Jesus and those who faithfully follow Him. Those who faithfully serve the household of the faith might receive little recognition in this world, but in the Kingdom to come, there is a great and everlasting reward.

For Christian Brethren Generally

Good instruction is very beneficial, but there is a lot of misguided and even dangerous instruction in the world. There are many who claim to be ministers of God, but they are either immature or they are imposters. The best way to find faithful ministers of the gospel is to seek Jesus. Ask Him to show you where to go, or ask that He teach you Himself by the Holy Spirit. He can give a gift of understanding to anyone as He chooses. Search the scriptures as you are able, and above all, ask to receive the Holy Spirit that makes all things known to us according to God’s perfect timing and methods.

In all things, strive to keep the patience of Jesus Christ as described throughout this chapter. What applies to the ministers of God applies to all, because as we grow in the faith, each of us should reach a point in which we have some capacity to teach the things of God to others. Once we come to others in His name, we are ministering in some capacity. This is not exclusive to pastors, preachers, bible teachers, and the like.

We all should strive to become a minister of the things of Jesus Christ and to reach a point in our walk in which the Spirit guides us first. Then, we receive the teachings of others as a comfort and welcome fellowship, but not as one who is unable to stand on his or her own two feet in the Lord. It is a great failing within the faith today to make people feel as if they must depend on leaders within “church.” We who are of the Spirit of God are the church, and we are being made into sons of God. Therefore, we need to mature. True leaders in the faith should encourage their fellow servants to become sufficient in the Lord by the Spirit within them. Not that fellowship becomes less needful. What becomes less needful is having a few exalted above measure while keeping their congregants in a perpetual state of infancy.

Yet, let us always consider our state as babes in Christ. We remain humble before Him, seek Him, trust in Him, and look to have more of the Christ-like nature manifest in the way that we live out our lives.

Never let anyone discourage you from seeking a life of holiness, and this includes remaining honest and sorry for sin as we patiently wait for Christ to be formed in us. Jesus is holy. Jesus is true. Jesus has the key of David. Turn to Him and place Him ahead of all else, and with patience attain all that He has in store for you.

On a final note, do not be discouraged when what Jesus has in store for you means suffering in this world. Jesus said that we should expect the world to hate us, and we should expect our enemy, Satan, to roam around and do whatever he can to devour the children of God. Resist him in faith and patiently continue despite your battle wounds, because you already have the victory in Christ. Do not let anyone accuse your faith because of your suffering or your troubles with sin for which you are sorrowful and honest before God. Many have suffered and died for the faith, and this was not a sign of God’s wrath or of failure on the part of the believer. Rather, suffering makes us more like Christ, and the more we patiently suffer for righteousness’ sake, the greater the reward in heaven.

In Conclusion

The Church of Philadelphia is one of the two who received no rebuke from the Spirit of the Lord. The other is the Church of Smyrna.

Despite having little strength, Philadelphia has not denied Jesus and all that His name represents. Perhaps they need this acknowledgement.

When we are surrounded by enemies of the faith, especially those who claim to be of the faith but are not fully committed or not committed at all, we might begin to question ourselves. When many claim that it is we who have denied the faith, we might wonder if this is true at times. Especially if we have little strength. Perhaps they are also hard on themselves, always feeling as if they are falling short and have become a disappointment to God.

Jesus provides affirmation, letting this church know that they are more faithful to Him than they might feel at times, and because of their faithfulness despite weakness, He has set before them an open door.

What is this open door?

Jesus identifies Himself as He who has the Key of David. He opens and no man shuts and shuts and no man opens. What door does He open using the Key of David?

It was foretold that David would have an heir who would reign forever. This heir is Jesus, and His Kingdom is His to give as He wills.

Perhaps Jesus is blessing this church in the things of the Kingdom in gracious measure. Perhaps He is reminding them that He is the One who gets to decide who will reside with Him in His kingdom to come, not those who oppose this church or ostracize this church for not following suit with the ways of the unfaithful. Perhaps it is both.

Jesus acknowledges that He is aware of the unfaithful churches, which He refers to as the “Synagogue of Satan.” He then declares that He will cause the Synagogue of Satan to worship before the feet of Philadelphia. They will be made to know that Jesus loves this church. There are a few things to consider here.

For one, there is a kind of vindication promised. It’s likely that the Synagogue of Satan—which likely includes the other 5 churches who did not repent—are not going to be welcoming of Philadelphia. They might directly oppose them. Despite this opposition, Philadelphia has “kept the word of His patience,” which we will consider in a moment.

Next, we might notice that Jesus does not seem to destroy the Synagogue of Satan. Does He allow them to inherit eternal life? Or is their submission more like what the scriptures say, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess the Lord, Jesus?”

Lastly, we might wonder why Jesus would have any worshipped besides Himself. If We continue reading the letters to the churches, we will learn that Jesus promises that those who overcome will sit with Him in His throne. This church is not being worshipped in a manner that exalts them above measure. Instead, it might be that as all are made to bow and confess Jesus, they vicariously bow to those who are with Jesus. This could also paint a picture of authority that is given to this church in the Kingdom to come when Jesus reigns on the earth.

Next, Jesus states, “because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation that will come upon all the world to try them that dwell on the earth.”

What is the word of His patience?

Despite being an outsider among many, and despite being aware of the Synagogue of Satan, Philadelphia does not condemn their fellow servants. Instead, this church holds to the teachings of Jesus, such as the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. They understand that many might seem to be false Christians, but they are merely immature Christians. They understand that judgment will come at a time when the Lord deems, so they refrain from judging others before their time.

They might also recall what Jesus said about those who are found “drunken and smiting their fellow servants” at His return. He stated that these are counted among the unbelievers.

They might also consider the story of David and Saul. David remained faithful to Saul, even when Saul despised him and wanted him killed. David did not retaliate. In-fact, he even tried to make peace with Saul because David knew that Saul was God’s servant, and David loved Saul.

Perhaps Philadelphia is the same. They love their brethren, even if they are not as faithful as they should be. They also know that the blood of Jesus covers the sins of those who are called by His name, so to condemn any who claim to be Christian would not be wise or righteous. Instead, they try to make peace with all brethren, even those who hate them for their faithfulness to Jesus in sincerity.

Another scripture they might hold close is, “he that leads into captivity will go into captivity. He that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.”

In addition to remaining patient with their fellow servants among Christianity, Philadelphia shows patience with the world at large. They do not fight as man fights or for the same goals. Man fights with weapons of this world to gain the kingdoms of this world. Philadelphia fights with the weapons of the Spirit to gain the Kingdom of Heaven.

How does keeping the patience of the Lord keep Philadelphia from the “hour of temptation?” What is the hour of temptation?

Jesus states that the hour of temptation will try all who dwell on the earth. It seems likely that this hour of temptation coincides with the coming of the false prophet and false god. When he comes, we will also see the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon at her full—who includes all the false churches. These churches will actively persecute the true saints of God and all who fail to “worship the beast and his image or receive the mark of his name.”

There are a few ways this church might be kept, and both are probably true. The first way that they are kept is in spirit. They are kept from the deception of a false, blood-thirsty god and his drunken whore-bride.

The second way that they are kept is in death with the promise of resurrection. The ultimate hour of temptation comes when those who are faithful to Jesus are overcome and killed by the beast and his armies. The world will think that they have won and that their god has overcome all descent, leading to great celebration and whole-hearted allegiance to the false god.

Another thing we might consider is a promise that Jesus made elsewhere in the scripture. Concerning the last days, Jesus said, “except the Lord had shortened the days, no flesh would be saved, but for the sake of the ones He has chosen, He has shortened the days.”

“Behold, I come quickly: hold thou fast what thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

Philadelphia is encouraged to “let no man take thy crown.” In other scripture, Jesus says that those who overcome will be given a “crown of life.” Philadelphia has gained the crown of life, and they are encouraged to let no one take it from them. They should not let the Synagogue of Satan discourage them or falsely accuse their faith. They also should not let the warring of man cause them to deny the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus will come speedily, and He will avenge.

“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.”

Living as a faithful Christian in a time of faithlessness and hedonism is sure to be a lonesome and difficult time in which to live. All who are faithful to Jesus experience times of feeling cast out, and Jesus said it would be so. We are not of the world, so the world does not love us. We might not ever find a real home or place in this earth, but we do have a place. We will be part of the Kingdom of Heaven forever.

New Jerusalem is described in Revelation 19 and 22. All who are faithful to Jesus are part of this Holy City, and they will inherit with Jesus. They are also given the new name of Jesus, signifying that they are one with Him and claimed by Him. Philadelphia might have had a name of shame before, meaning they were of no reputation and honor among man or among their brethren, but in Christ they have honor in Him because they glorify Him and not this world.

Additional Scriptures when Considering the Letter to the Church of Philadelphia

  • For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (2 Peter 2:20-25).
  • And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:3-11).
  • Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water (2 Peter 3:20).
  • Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved (Romans 9:21-25).
  • Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:14-21).
  • Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy (James 5:7-11).
  • And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:11-15).
  • And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled (Revelation 6:9-11).
  • And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (Revelation 13:7-10).
  • And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:11-13).

The above is the last sections of the chapter, To the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia. This is a portion of a book in progress entitled, “These Things Saith He.” Next, I plan to publish the whole chapter, edited as needed, and with all scripture noted at the end. Feel free to leave a comment about what the letter to the church in Philadelphia means to you.

For thou hast a little strength…

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.

These words of comfort are glad to be received by such a one as Philadelphia. Being weak in the faith, keeping the words of Jesus and all that He stands for can seem like an impossible feat. The calling to a life of holiness seems to fall flat amid painful struggling against sin, only to find greater depths of wretchedness that needs to be dealt with. The calling to truth can at times seem overshadowed by a world of lies and treachery, both within the faith and without. The grace of God is a welcome retreat from the failings of the flesh—a grace that Jesus gives at His discretion according to the sovereign will of the Father.  

He knows their works. Contrast this with “depart from me, you who work iniquity. I never knew you.” Philadelphia will not hear those words. Despite their weakness—and indeed because of it—they have learned by the grace of God to trust in Jesus Christ alone. They cannot trust in their own “holiness.” They embrace the wise words, “lean not on your own understanding” as they realize that truth can be elusive, and the wisdom of fools is not far from their own heart at times. They cannot by any means be worthy enough for the Kingdom of God, yet they strive in faith, trusting in the work of the cross and the sanctification of the Spirit as promised.

They do not hide their little strength from Jesus, but rather, they run to Him because of it as they confess their sin openly, with great sorrow of heart, and with faith—sometimes great faith and sometimes little faith—hoping for the redemption of their soul and evidence of their salvation through a life that more resembles their Lord, Jesus.

Jesus has set before them an open door. The grace of God through Jesus Christ that makes one welcome residents of the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them, even if they do not presently see this as they would like. Just as all wait to see Jesus reign in this present world, so do they wait in faith patiently trusting in this promise. The door is already open. It must yet be fulfilled that they should walk through it. As Paul the apostle wrote, “this mortal must put on immortality.” That which is sown in corruption will be raised in newness of life, and this promise of God will one day be fulfilled—and their little strength will not prevent it because this is the work of Jesus in them.

Few pains are like that of a Christian who fears their weakness—who worries that they have disappointed Jesus and will fail to inherit the Kingdom of God. No. They have kept His words. They have not denied His name. By seeking Jesus earnestly as one who has a “poor and contrite spirit,” they have kept the faith. Their works are that of a broken heart, praise, thanksgiving, trust, and a desire to see the Kingdom of God furthered in this present world, and none of that as perfectly as they would have it. One day they will hear, “well done, thou good and faithful servant,” to which they respond, “I am an unprofitable servant. I did that which was my duty to do.”

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.

There is no glory from men for the unholy Christian, the wretched sinner, and the one who does not claim to know all the hidden truths of God and of the Christian faith. There is no acceptance by those who esteem themselves to be higher than others, to have all doctrine neatly pinned down, and a life of riches, popularity, and gain in this present world. Those of the Synagogue of Satan welcome their own with open arms, though they often carry a knife hidden behind their back.

There are many who claim to be Jews—there are many who claim that God is their Father—but they are not truly redeemed from the snares of their real father, the devil and Satan. They continue in his works without real repentance and contrition of heart, all the while condemning and accusing the children of God. Such treatment can be enough to make little-strength Philadelphia’s heart faint. Yet, there is reassurance from Jesus. He knows of the Synagogue of Satan, and He will cause them to know that Jesus has loved those who they have accused and cast far away from their holier-than-thou assemblies.

As it is written near the close of Isaiah, “your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake said, ‘let the Lord be glorified!’ Yet He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” Those who overcome will sit with Jesus in His throne, and as all confess that Jesus is Lord and bow before Him, so will they bow before those who are with Him.

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.

There are numerous scriptures detailing the awe-inspiring patience of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. In keeping the ideas within these scriptures, the heart is kept from the hour of temptation—the hour in which man denies the patience of God and is fully given to the darkness of this world, even the Prince of Darkness himself. Scriptural ideas pertaining the patience of Jesus include:

1 Peter 1-2: Our faith is tried as we endure many temptations, but if we patiently continue in well-doing, then we will receive the reward of our faith which is a crown of life. In our patience, we should remember the example of Jesus—He who patiently suffered the wrongs of evil men without being overcome by evil Himself but remained blameless in word and in deed.

2 Peter 3: We patiently wait on the Lord, even as others scoff at us and mock us stating that our Lord has delayed His coming. We know that the Lord will fulfill His promises, but He is patient as He gives time and space for all who belong to Him to repent. As we patiently endure ridicule, we can rejoice in knowing that the Lord is making time for our brethren to come to Him. We also know that Jesus will return and judge, and we want to be found faithful at His coming because the unrighteous cannot stand in His presence.

Romans 2: We should not despise the patience of God that leads many to repentance. We also remember that Jesus judges without respect of persons, meaning no one is too big and important get away with sin not repented of. We may need some time to repent ourselves, so we should not be so quick to see the judgment of God, nor should we be overly eager to judge one another.

Romans 5: Difficult times make us stronger and increases our patience, experience, and hope in the Lord. We remember that Jesus died for the ungodly, and we are justified by His sacrifice. We are not going to face His wrath, and as we grow in the faith, we have more confidence in our salvation as we experience the mercy and patience of the Lord first-hand.

Romans 9: Jesus endures the wicked patiently until His work is completed, and He is in control of all things. He will save all who He intends to save. Jesus is glorified in the wicked, so when we feel disheartened because of the wicked who seem to prevail, we can know that they will bring honor to God in the end and all things are coming together for our good.

James 5: Suffer affliction with patience just as the prophets suffered and as Jesus also suffered. Even now He endures much until the time of His coming is accomplished. Take comfort in His mercy and compassion for those who suffer for His sake.

We might notice recurring ideas.

Jesus died for the ungodly, and this includes us. We can have faith in His sacrifice, even as our faith is tried by a life among those who would do us harm or do harm to the Christian faith.

We endure suffering with patience, not repaying evil for evil, because we know that this is the calling we have as Christians.

We endure knowing that Jesus is no respecter of important persons, so we should not be so high and mighty in our judgements of others, but rather we should look to our own sin and be glad that Jesus gives many—including us—time to repent.

Just because we are covered by His blood does not mean we have no need to repent of the sins that we live out in this present world. However, we repent in good faith, knowing that He will save all who He intends to save—and this means allowing the wicked to continue until His time has come to return and judge the earth.

He will come and He will fulfill His promises—this is both a fearful and wonderful thing, so we should live out our days in this world in fear and in faith, seeking the grace of God and placing our trust in the sufficient sacrifice of the Son as we grow in our knowledge of Him and our ability to live in a manner that is pleasing to Him—a manner that means enduring the wicked with righteousness and with patience.

As with all of Philadelphia’s imperfections, keeping the patience of the Lord imperfectly is a difficult cross to bear. However, as the scriptures promise, when we call out to Jesus He will hear us and deliver us from all of our troubles. Especially the troubles of sinful thoughts, overwhelming emotions, and dreadful fears, even fears of denying the Lord Himself and of great failure in the faith. His grace is sufficient, even when the patience we have is weak. As the scriptures say, Christ is made strong in weakness, and as we continue, patience will have its perfect work one day.

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.

To be a firmly-set fixture in the house of God is a glorious promise and comfort for one whose strength is little and one who seems to have no sound and sure place in this world. It is a comfort because of their own weakness—weakness that makes them feel as though they cannot help but come in and out of the presence of God time and time again, though if they could, they would never again leave or yield to sin. This is a comfort because they long for a place, and not just any place, but one that is with Jesus Himself and those who love Him in sincerity.


This is a recently-written portion of a chapter within a work-in-progress entitled, “These Things Saith He.” Progress has been slow in recent months, and because the current chapter is long and the progress is slow, I am publishing as completed. The whole chapter will again be published in its entirety once completed, Lord willing.

Love That Surpasses Understanding

One of the things that I’ve read about in scripture is “peace that surpasses understanding.” That is something that I hope for, and I have experienced this peace in varying measures at times–though not at all as consistently as I’d like.

There are many things that chip away at our peace. For some, relationship problems are the main issue. Then, we need love that surpasses understanding, too.

It can be difficult, and without God it is probably impossible, to love properly when your most foundational relationships are troubled. When relationships with parents, spouses, and siblings are wrought with abuse, negligence, envy, slanders, sabotage, conflict-sowing, and unfaithfulness, how can a person know how to love properly? When everyone is eventually revealed to be treacherous in heart towards those who should be closest to them, who can be trusted?

Of course, you know the answer: Jesus. People will disappoint us, and we disappoint others too. People do not love perfectly–and this includes us–but Jesus does love perfectly. In-fact, He loved us before we loved Him, and even though He knows our faults better than anyone ever could, He still loves us and helps us to overcome for His sake.

He can help us to learn love that surpasses understanding, because that is what His love is. His love makes no sense. We do not deserve it. We do not deserve that we could be forgiven of sins by the blood of God’s Son and adopted as sons of God through Him. We do not deserve all of the patience that He shows us as we strive against sin, and we do not deserve all the goodness of this life that we so often take for granted.

Jesus said that we should abide in His love, and thereby we are able to keep His commandments and our joy is made full. He will show us how to love as He loves–a love that surpasses understanding, and in that we find peace that surpasses understanding too.

When He brings us to a point in which He is our only real source of love–both in the love we receive and in the love that we can give, then we can be made strong in loving as He would have us. When He brings us to a point in which He is our only hope and the One we put our trust in, and the means by which we can also be faithful, then we have faith and peace as He would have for us.

It also helps to remember this: There are only two kinds of people in this world. There are those who are Christ’s and those who are not. Those who are His are also ours, and we should love them and be patient because He is working in them according to His own will and timing just as He is working in us.

We inherit everything, so why lose our love and peace over enemies of a kingdom that has already overcome them? Those who are not His will face the judgement, and having received mercy ourselves we should hope in mercy for others. It seems that the most unlovable are loved by God, redeemed, and brought into His family, and this might include some who have not yet received Jesus, but will. This included us, after-all.

It’s hard to remember these things as we should. However, if Jesus is not yet our truest source of love and peace, then He will work that out in us. He might work that out by bringing us through times that we would rather not go through and cause us to face things in ourselves or in others that we’d rather not face, but all things come together for the good of those who are called according to the purposes of God. He will bring peace if we seek peace and He will teach us love if we do not give up on it.

%d bloggers like this: