End Time Study–Pt.7

This week we will be looking at the faithful church of Philadelphia (Rev.3:7-13). This letter is to the end-time church that will be found faithful to God and walking in brotherly love. This remnant church will be found walking in the power of God that overcomes this world. God will open doors to this church in order to proclaim and diffuse His word. Even the adversaries of God and the church will not be able to stop this faithful church. Jesus is saying here that He guarantees the faithful end-time church will have ample opportunity to testify of Him. Even though this church will lack political power and may be few in number, (“—for you have little strength—” vs.8),it will still be doing great exploits (Dan.11:32). This church will be obedient to the Word of God and will not deny His name by lifestyles that deny His deity or lordship of their lives.

To the first century Philadelphian church Jesus compares the disingenuous Jews to the synagogue of Satan, those who possessed a profession of faith without possessing the walk of faith. This was the religious Jew not the Jew who knew Jehovah intimately. Jesus tells this church that these hypocrites would soon come to worship with the true church because they would see God’s favor on the church. Some of those who would not acknowledge Jesus as Saviour would soon bow the knee to confess Him as Messiah. Because of God’s presence, favor and glory being among these christian believers, many would have to admit that this was a true move of God and worthy of acceptance. They would recognize God’s love for these followers of Jesus Christ.

The end-time Philadelphian faithful church will experience much of the same things. There will be many who profess to be Christians while all the time they have no relationship with Jesus. It will be those having a form of godliness while dening the power thereof. These will have great pride in their religion and denominations. These are the ones who “—are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness”(Matt.23:27,28). But even many of these will come to worship God with the faithful remnant church.

As the church enters the Great Tribulation and the true christian faith is labeled religiously incorrect, there will be many who will rise up against the true church, most of which will be the religiously correct churches. Just as Jesus and His followers were hated by the religious Jews, so it will be in the last days church. The church will be made out to be a stumbling block to world peace and prosperity. The church will be called hate-mongers, bigots, narrow-minded, haters of peace, etc., (wait, this is already being done). All of the world’s woes will be blamed on the true church, there will be an outcry from humanity to silence the church. To kill a christian will be seen as an act of heroism. Just as Saul of Tarsus (Paul) was seen as a hero by the Jewish leadership for his persecution of the followers of Jesus before his conversion, so it will be in the last days. The “christians”, along with other religionists, will persecute the true church believing themselves to be doing God’s will. The political systems of the world will applaud this attempt to silence the church, or at least they will look the other way while the true church is being persecuted.

Yet in the midst of all this persecution and hatred toward the faithful church there shall come a great harvest of souls. God will be showing great favor to His church and working signs, wonders and miracles through this true church. Because of His glory being beheld (Is.60:1-4), many will come to Jesus for salvation. Many who thought themselves to be a christian but weren’t will come into a father-child relationship with Jehovah through Jesus Christ. The church’s greatest hour is yet before her.

Verse ten of chapter three pertains to the church going through the Tribulation that shall come upon the world, but Jesus gives the church a promise of His protection. Because the true church has, with patience, kept the words of Jesus, even while enduring trial, testing and persecution, He will give them His strength to persevere to the end. We must understand that the Great Tribulation is designed, among other things, to test and prove the true followers of Jesus. As the end-time events of disasters, earthquakes, famines, persecutions, etc., come upon the world it will be a means by which God will separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares. Only those who have their total trust in God will survive. The true character of people will be seen. It will be the strength and faith of the Christians that will cause many to believe. The true follower of Christ will be seen as a pillar of strength while the world is full of chaos. Those who have been taught and believe that the Christians are to be raptured before the Great Tirbulation begins will be among the many that will “fall away” from the faith (II Thes.2:3). They will see Christianity as a hoax, a lie, because they were told that, as Christians, they would not have to endure the Tribulation. Pre-trib rapture implies that the Bride, the church, is better than the Groom, Jesus. She doesn’t have to be tested as Jesus was in the wilderness, as well as in the Garden of Gethsemane. She doesn’t have to suffer to prove her love for the Groom as Jesus proved His love for the Bride through His suffering. Pre-trib theology suggests that the church is too privileged and spoiled to have to suffer. But when we see the Anti-Christ come to power and the judgement of God begin, only those who have been equipped with the full counsel of God’s Word will persevere to the end. These are the ones that will be doing great exploits, signs, miracles and wonders.

All we must do (according to verse 11) is to hold fast to the sound doctrine of God’s Word. The Word of God in us and our faith in God is what will cause us to stand as pillars of strength while the world is being shaken by God (Heb.12:25-29). As we overcome this world and the temptation to quit while going through the Tribulation, He will grant us to become as the pillars of the temple. The pillars in the Jewish temple were highly ornamented to give the temple beauty. As overcomers, the saints shall be adorned with robes of righteousness, crowns of life and a new name making them to appear as the pillars of the temple. Part of the priests’ garments was a nameplate on their foreheads with “Kodesh-Laihovah” written on it meaning “Holiness unto the Lord.” We, as a royal priesthood, shall bare the name “Holiness unto the Lord” upon us as well as “New Jerusalem.” This labels the saint as belonging to the Holy One of New Jerusalem. Like the title,”Jesus of Nazareth” or “Joseph of Arimathea,” we shall be called by a new name indicating to whom we belong as well as our home, New Jerusalem.

What a reward! By holding fast to the Word of God and persevering to the end, the saint of God shall receive eternity with the Light of the world in a New Jerusalem. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”(Rom.8:18)
Posted by BL James Equipped for the End-Time at 6:36 PM

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