CREDENTIALS OF A PHILADELPHIAN

I think it is understood that everyone wants to be a Philadelphian because of the promises made in Revelation 3.  God has written down plainly their conditions, characteristics and their attributes. These credentials define them. Becoming an end time Philadelphian is not something that we will stumble into nor will it be thrust upon us.  Philadelphians will be Philadelphians by choice not chance. We will have to make conscious decisions to obtain that position. If we fail to make the proper decisions we will automatically fall into one of the other church slots or start a descent toward the lake of fire.  The choice is yours and the choice requires action and belief of God’s word on your part. By the end of this paper you will have access to the knowledge to make an informed decision.

A lot of Church of God people, and I am among them, believe that all seven church attitudes exist simultaneously with one dominant attitude.  It is obvious from God’s Word that three of these dominant attitudes will have existed in the end time era which may span many years. Let’s look at the dominant characteristics of each church era, and then we will spend some time specifically on Philadelphian credentials.

First look at Ephesus.

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

This church left or fell from its first love, zeal, and motivation to do God’s will. They were exhorted to repent of this lethargy and get back to doing and having the zeal of the first works which they had when first called. Where do you fit in? Do you start off with a bang and quickly fizzle to a mediocre mind set in your daily life? That mindset would most likely be reflected in your spiritual life also.

Next, look at Smyrna.

Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;  9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.  10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

The message to the Smyrna is just four verses long. To me it seems they just exist to suffer. God doesn’t exhort them to repent, just to hang on to the end.  I am sure that none of us want to be a member of this group.

I am wondering out loud here: is it possible that Philadelphians have periods of time in their life that they exhibit the other church attitudes and vice versa?  It seems to me that could be true, but their one dominant church attitude would prevail in the end.

Now look at Pergamos.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.  16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

These Christians are exhorted to repent also.  They have one especially bad characteristic.  Some of these people have been holding the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which is the hierarchy system. A short study of the word Nicolaitans will show that if you are not aware of it.

Read about Thyatira.

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.  22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.  24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

Here again this church has been told to repent and threatened with severe punishment if they don’t. Verses 24-25 make it clear that there is a portion of this church which is not guilty of the main criticism Christ doles out.

Next comes Sardis.

Revelation 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.  4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

This church is definitely associated with the end time scenario. Their problem is that they can’t stay spiritually awake.  The word watchful and watch are both Strong’s # 1127, primary meaning is to “keep awake, i.e., watch, (lit. or fig.); be vigilant…” This spiritually sleeping group is one reason that God has to send the cry at midnight, Mat. 25:5-6, to wake the virgins up spiritually and get them going with the end time work.

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

It seems clear that at one point in time, the whole church of God is asleep. Notice it says ALL.  I don’t see any exceptions. Two stages of spiritual sleep are mentioned here, slumbered and slept.  “Slumbered” is Strong’s #3473 meaning “to nod, i.e., (by impl.) to fall asleep; fig. to delay; -slumber.”  “Slept” is Strong’s #2518 meaning “(to sleep); to lie down to rest, i.e., (by impl) to fall asleep (lit. or fig.):-(be a -) sleep.”  Rev. 3:4 shows that this spiritual sleeping leads to sin and a loss of salvation, but as time wears on, even some of the Sardis people qualify for salvation.

Now read the warning to Laodicea.

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  17 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:

18 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.

I want to look at this church before we dwell on Philadelphia.  Laodiceans are lukewarm Christians and have to obtain their salvation by severe fiery trials.  These Christians are spiritually blind. They can’t see their spiritual problems. The physical seems to overpower everything else.

Now, let’s take a real close look at Philadelphia, the church we all want to be a part of. Philadelphia and Smyrna are the only two churches that Christ doesn’t make public their problems, Rev. 3:7-13.

Rev 3:7 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;  8 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.

9 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.

There is more to these verses than first meets the eye and it starts showing up in verse 7. God opens and no man shuts.  God shuts and no man opens.  The word “man” is Strong’s # 3762. The primary meaning of this word is “not even one (man, woman or thing) i.e., none, nobody, nothing…” The same word for man is used in verse 8. The word door in verse 8 is Strong’s # 2374 meaning “a portal or entrance…” This door, portal, entrance, is to do the end time work. What the early New Testament church did was just a prototype for us, 1 Corinthians. 10:11.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“Examples” is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type“), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

“Admonition” is Strong’s #3559: “calling attention to, i.e. (by impl.) mild rebuke or warning.”

“World” is Strong’s #165: “prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):—age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end).”

This verse has to be one of the most important in the Bible. We may be shocked to see in hindsight how exact and clear the events were described.  The basic assignment for the Philadelphian church is found in Mat. 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15-16.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

This end time work is also alluded to in other places. Notice it says all nations, all the world. This is a huge job for the Philadelphian church but we have the prototype of how the New Testament church did their job written down for us. The known world today is almost twice as large as they had to deal with and contains billions more people. Communications and travel today are so far advanced over what they had back then that there is no comparison.

This statement that no man can open or shut is startling or at least it was to me. It is the same word used in Rev. 5:2-4 and Rev. 15:8.

Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?  3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.  4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Notice that this word “man” is used interchangeably with spirit beings.  It should be translated “no one.”  So what God is saying in Rev. 3:8 is that no human or spirit being (demons or Satan) can shut these doors.  It gets even more shocking as we look at the word “strength in verse 8, Strong’s # 1411, meaning “force (lit. or fig.) : spec. miraculous power (usually by impl. a miracle itself):  – ability…”

Look at a couple of other places this word #1411 is used. In Luke 9:1, the word disciples is #3101 meaning a “learner, i.e., pupil:- disciple.”

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

That is you. That is me, if we are serious about being a Christian.  The word power in this verse is #1411. Reread the definition above.  This word authority is # 1849 meaning “(in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e., (subj.) force, capacity, competence, freedom, mastery…”

What is this verse saying? To understand, don’t forget what 1 Corinthians. 10:11 says also. These things happened and were written for examples.  In reality, Luke 9:1 says to us end time Christians, the Philadelphians in this case, Hey, you sons and daughters of mine, I give you power and authority, the privilege, the force, the ability to work miracles.  This power is over all demons and I give you power to cure (heal) diseases. Do you belong to this church that has this power? Or do you belong to one of the other six churches? You shall know them by their fruit.

Now go on to Luke 10:17-20 for a further test of which church you belong to.

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

These fruits of the Philadelphians will be more and more obvious as they receive their cry at midnight and awaken out of this spiritual sleep that the church is in, Mat. 25:5.

Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

In verse 19 the first word “power” is Strong’s # 1849 which was translated authority in Luke 9:1 above.  The second word “power” is Strong’s # 1411 which is translated as strength in Rev. 3:8.   Tread is #3961 which means “path,” to “trample (lit or fig): tread (down under foot).’ “Serpents” is # 3789, the same word used for Satan in Rev. 20:2.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years

Scorpions in Luke 10:19 are described as demons in Rev. 9.

Rev 9:2  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Rev 9:3  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Rev 9:10  And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Rev 9:11  And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

What Luke 10:19 is saying is that Christ’s disciples will have the miracle working power to trample on demons or even to execute them. If you are to walk or make a path on serpents and scorpions they had best be dead or incapacitated in some way. Again I would repeat the only church promised this miracle working power is the Philadelphia. Rev. 3:8. They have a little strength that is the church I want to be a member of, do you?  This promise of power is even added to in 1 Corinthians 6:3.

1 Cor 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

“Judge” is #2919, meaning “to distinguish, i.e., decide (mentally or judicially); by impl. to try, condemn, punish:- avenge…”

Righteous angels need no judging. It is the fallen ones that do. The demons are the ones the Philadelphian church will have this “little strength” to deal with and punish.  The Philadelphians along with miracle working power will be recognizable by two other characteristics.  The first is in Rev. 3:8 above, they have kept God’s word.  It is obvious what God’s Word is for us.  It is the Holy Bible. It is a little less obvious about “kept”.  It is Strong’s # 5083 where the primary meaning is “(a watch) to guard (from loss or injury, by keeping the eye upon;…”

Philadelphians guard God’s word like they do their credit card or checkbook.  They know the limits of their accounts and will avoid being overdrawn.  Most of the time there is a penalty exacted for overdrawing.  If you overdraw on the freedom of God’s word, you will most certainly pay a penalty.  What is your attitude toward God’s word, not what we agree with but what we disagree with? When you first come in contact with a point of truth is it, Yes, Dad, (Father) if you like it, I love it. If you say it I believe it, Dad.

Test yourself with a few verses.  Do you take God’s word personally? Why not? The Passover service is personal to you, isn’t it? The promise of salvation is personal to you, isn’t it? You know what the Bible says, to him that overcome will I grant eternal life.  Are the verses we just covered, Luke 10:19, and 9:1, personal to you?  A disciple #3101 is a learner or pupil. Is that not you? It should be if you have the Holy Spirit.  Notice to whom Christ gave power, power and authority over demons and to heal.  Review Luke 9:1. That is a clear sign of who a Philadelphian is.  Remember they have a little strength, Rev. 3:8.

What about Luke 10:19? Is that personal to you?  Do you want the power to walk on demons? I certainly do.  Once you see how much of your every day life is affected negatively by demons, you will want that power also.

Remember 1 Corinthians. 6:3. Review it on page 6. The way Paul wrote this to him it was a done deal. Paul had a Philadelphian attitude. To Paul, judging fallen angels is something a Christian will do.

Read Mat. 25:15-16, 17, 20-23.

Mat 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

Mat 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

“Talents” is # 5007.  It is a sum of money. What money did God give you when he called you?  His tithes.  Do you take these verses personally? They tell you in no uncertain terms to make his tithes grow. God holds us personally accountable for what we do with his tithes. If you give your tithes to a hierarchy group to spend for you, you will be in trouble on judgment day.  If you give your tithe money to anyone to spend for you, without telling them how to, and what to spend it on, you are in contempt of God’s word.

Will you be a Philadelphian?  Remember in Rev. 3:8 they kept God’s word and accepted the responsibility that went with it like being personally accountable for how God’s tithe is spent.  This is how you can know if you are, or someone else is a Philadelphian.  They have miracle working power and keep God’s word. Others will have power to work miracles also, but their power will come from Satan.  They won’t keep God’s word or personally accept the responsibility that goes with it.

Going back to Rev. 3:8, Philadelphians have another characteristic God outlines here.  They have not denied God’s name.  The word “name” is # 3686, a “name” (lit. or fig) [authority, character].”  “Denied” is # 720 meaning “to contradict, i.e. disavow, reject, abnegate- deny, refuse.”  You can deny God’s name by rejecting his authority in your life.  For instance, Mattthew 25:5 says, “they ALL slumbered and slept.” Review this verse at top of page 3. There are no exceptions. I’ve had fellow Christians in several instances take exception to that like it doesn’t apply to them.

2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Most Christians think this applies to someone else, not them. That very thought, that very statement shows what a prisoner of Satan they are. That kind of thinking denies God’s name, His authority, and His word.  People with that attitude are not Philadelphians.

I could give you many more examples, but the bottom line is you deny God’s name by not recognizing his authority over you, through the authority of his written word in your life.  Some people want to split hairs about some little point of grammar when the meaning of what is written is very clear. That is denying God’s name.  Rev. 5:3-4 is an example of this.

Rev 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

I would ask the question how many men are there in heaven.   The word “man” should read “no one.” Don’t you dare read that the way it is written because some grammar experts will take exception to it! You’ve got to be spiritually illiterate not to understand by reading it the way it is written that no spirit being or human being could open the book.  By splitting hairs and taking exception to the CLEAR principal God expresses here is denying God’s name.  The same applies in Rev. 3:7-8.

Revelation 3:7 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;

Revelation 3:8 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.

No one can change what God has done. There are numerous ways to deny God’s name, His authority and character. True Philadelphians will not question God’s authority and character by not believing what he says or by trying to squirm out of it. Remember what I said earlier about the attitude of a truly converted person? Yes, Father, if you say it, I believe it. If you like it, I love it.

Move on to Rev. 3:9-10.

Rev 3:9 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.

Why are these verses even in the Bible? We possibly could go through the doors that God opens and no one can shut without this being here. In verse 10 we may be able to keep the word of God’s patience without having verse 9. Verses 7,8,10 will be a whole lot easier with the knowledge of verse 9 has to offer us. The word “synagogue”, #4864, means “an assemblage of persons; spec. a Jewish “synagogue” (the meeting or the place); by annal., a Christian church; -assembly, congregation, synagogue.”  These members who comprise this congregation, this church, claim to be Jews. “Jew” in this case means Christian (Christ-like). Christ was from the tribe of Judah, therefore a Jew.

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Romans 2:28-29 tells us a Jew like Christ is a Jew inwardly, spiritually. Christ was spirit before and after his short life as a flesh and blood human.

Christ was slain from the foundation of the world, Rev. 13:8. That was the spirit earth not the physical from the day Satan created sin, John 8:44.

Revelation 13:8 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.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Christ was slain to create forgiveness from the time Satan created sin. We would have to be spiritually naive to think that angels do not sin and need forgiveness just because they started out perfect doesn’t mean they stayed that way. Maybe some did, but that idea can be probed from other places in the book of Revelation that raises questions about some angels never sinning. It could be possible though.  So far in verse 9 we have a group of beings who claim to be Christians or Christ like but are lying. Go to Rev. 14:10, 12.

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Rev 14:11 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. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Sin-free (forgiven) angels and humans rate the same. The word “holy” in verse 10 is Strong’s #40, meaning “sacred, pure, blameless…” This same word #40 is used in verse 12 for saints. The word “holy”, describing angels in verse 10, could also be “saint angels.”

We are starting to see in verse 9 that the primary meaning is speaking of a spirit congregation.  The whole message to the Philadelphians in Rev. 3 is on a spirit level.  The doors that are open and no one can shut are mostly physical doors to do a spiritual work. Verse 9 is purely on a spirit level.  Verse 10 “kept the word of my patience” is very spiritual in its application. Verse 11 “holding on to our crown” is spiritual. Verses 12 and 13 are both on a spirit level. To take verse 9 in anything but a spirit application would be twisting the scriptures. Humans can’t worship other humans. The only way that could happen is after we were made sons and daughters of God. Other humans may possibly bow before us. To me, today, Jan 13, 2004, doing this seems far out, really hard to grasp.  I certainly agree that could be a potential scenario for the future after we are sons and daughter of God, but really what did humans ever do? The Father and Christ are the great creators and sustainers.

Let us go a little deeper into verse 9 and the phrase “come and worship before thy feet.”  The word “worship” is #4352 “(mean. to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (lit or fig) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to): – worship.”  I think this worship will be toward God at our feet. Only God can be worshipped.  We can’t worship other humans or angels, Rev. 19:10.

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

In verse 9, this coming to worship before the Philadelphian’s feet is something that God makes these members of Satan’s church do. Are these human members as well as the demon members?  Demons certainly are not like Christ, a Jew inwardly, Romans 2:29.

So what is the time frame of this act of worshipping?  The Bible isn’t really clear about the time frame at this point, at least to my understanding.  It is almost certain that it has to be after the resurrection and probably after the marriage supper banquet which could last several years.  Read the paper on this subject at http://www.solidrockspeople.org/.  I’m sure that we will be spirit beings at that point.  It also seems probable that there will be demons dragged kicking and screaming to acknowledge us and what the Father and Christ have done.

Another possibility exists that there may be two times that this happens, one with physical humans and another with the demon world.  The Philadelphian spirit beings’ work is not complete at the resurrection.  There is more.  Read the paper called Terrible of the Nations. So it starts to come clear why we have a little strength, verse 8. Review the definition of “strength” previously quoted on page 5.  Mat.11:12 and Luke 16:16 start to make sense now.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Starting with John the Baptist, entry into the Kingdom was taken to another level.  The bar was raised.  The word violence is #971.  That is the same word translated “presseth” in Luke 16:16 and it means, “to force, i.e. (reflex.) to crowd oneself (into), (pass.) to be seized…”

Violent is #973, meaning “a forcer, i.e., (fig.) energetic- violent.”

Remember what it says in James 1:22?

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Since we have to “be doers of the word” and the kingdom is something to be seized, to force our way into, could it be that we have a part in forcing these demons to come and worship before us? Notice I said before us, not us.  Who do we fight? Who do we have to seize the Kingdom from? Eph.6:12 makes that abundantly clear.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It is even clearer now why the Philadelphians have a little strength. We have to work many miracles through God’s power to even obtain salvation with the thought of going through the doors that can’t be shut, doing the end time job of going into all the world and not having a little strength (miracle working power) could be overwhelming. Let’s revisit Luke 9:1-2.

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

Luke 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Remember 1 Corinthians 10:11.  These things happened and were written for the end time church. Review definition on page four.  Christ called his 12 pupils, learners (disciples) and gave them this “little strength, miracle working power and authority.  This power and authority is over all devils and it is used to heal.  After Christ had armed his disciples, he sent them to preach the Gospel and heal the sick. Much of our miracle working power will be to prepare other people’s minds to hear God’s message. Many of these healings will be accomplished by casting out demons.

Mark 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

A mind full of demons can’t be taught anything spiritual. They have to be removed.  This miracle working strength or power that God gives us will have to be used responsibly. It is to do the end time work. You can review the definition of these words in Luke 9 on page 5.

Now, go on to Luke 10:17-19 where there is more on forcing our way into the Kingdom.  You can review the definitions of these words, power and serpents and scorpions on page 6.

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

The word “enemy” is #2190, meaning “(to hate); hateful (pass. odious or act hostile, an adversary, especially Satan); enemy, foe.”

Why does God give the Philadelphians miracle working power? We need it to force our way into the kingdom, the enemy Satan and the demons have to be neutralized so we can preach the Gospel to the entire world.

The end time Philadelphian church has to be armed with this power to get the job done.  Sure, God could today Jan 18 04 just zap everything into shape and we could have a smooth ride into the Kingdom. That isn’t the way he chooses to do it. The Bible doesn’t say in vain that it is through much tribulation that we enter the Kingdom.

Read James 4:7.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

For at least 5 years I’ve tried to do this and would get kicked in the crotch or mouth each time. I’ve accused God more than once of not backing his word up.  “Resist” is # 436 meaning to “stand against, i.e., oppose; resist, withstand.” “Flee” is #5343 meaning “to run away (lit or fig); by implic., to shun; by anal. to vanish; escape, flee (away).”

Now, this literally seems to be happening.  This resisting seems to be bearing fruit in fewer demon attacks.  I’ve thought and said many times in recent months that our freedom from slavery will be reflected in Iraq’s climb from slavery to freedom.

2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Tim.2:26 means every one of the end time Christians. God will expect us to do everything we can to obtain freedom. Reread James 4:7 above.  Is that a suggestion or a command from God?  Doesn’t it carry as much weight as hundreds of other statements made by God? For instance see Eph.6:11; James 5:14; Rev. 3:12. The fact is that God expects us to oppose the devil just like he expects us to pray and study his word.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Rev 3:12 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.

A true Philadelphian will be on the offense, not the defense when it comes to opposing demons. The slightest infractions will be punished with severe punishment.  After a while the demons will start to get it.  It is bordering on spiritual insanity to think the God would promise Philadelphians miracle working power and not expect them to use it.

Review Revelation 3:9.  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.

The key word here is “make.” Christ has all power to enforce his will. Can you start to see the relationship here, Christians one on one with Christ.  That is the way it has to be. Look again at Luke 10:17.

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

The word “subject” is #5293 meaning “to subordinate, obey, be under obedience…”  We command a demon to do something. Christ enforces it.  If we make a wrong judgment, Christ can and will correct it.  I think the statement in Rev. 3:9 is the ultimate in humiliation just as Saddam Hussein suffered the ultimate in humiliation when he was dragged out of a hole in the ground too cowardly to fight.   For a demon to come and worship before our feet would be the equivalent humiliation.  We can command them to prostrate themselves before us so we can walk on them, “tread”, “make a path,” and Christ will enforce it. This should make demons fear to continue opposing those who are actively doing God’s assignments.

True Philadelphians will have miracle working power.  They will keep God’s Word, and they will not deny His Name. These will be their trademarks.  We all have to decide if we want to be a Philadelphian. It won’t be forced on us.  Will we believe God’s word, accept the power he offers, and do his will?  Otherwise we can just be one of the members of the other churches and pay the price.

Published March 2006

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org