PHILADELPHIA CHURCH

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;

In Revelation 3:7, Christ gives a partial description of Himself.  We know that Christ is holy.  The Philadelphians of the end-time have to know that Christ is true, that His word is true, and that this Bible is written to the end-time Christians.  If we believe His word is true, we must believe that the Bible is written to us.

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

“Ensamples” 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.”

Christ claims to have the “key of David.”  This must be something that the end-time Philadelphians will need.  At this point I have no idea of exactly what this “key of David” is.  I think I remember Gerald Flurry, leader of a splinter of the late Worldwide Church of God, claiming to have it, but, that is garbage unless he is the true end-time Elijah. Gerald Flurry is asleep, just like the rest of us.

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

The phrase in Revelation 3:7, “opens and no man shuts; and shuts and no man opens,” has significant meaning to the end-time Philadelphians.  Notice in verse 8 that these Philadelphians have an open door set before them.

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.

This open door is how Christ is going to do the end-time work.

Romans 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

The end-time work begins with the end-time Elijah.  He is the only one who can make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:17) and he is to restore all things Matthew (17:10-13).  The end-time (3rd) Elijah and the 2nd Elijah (John the Baptist) are both mentioned in these verses.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

13  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

This end-time Elijah has deputies (workers).

Haggai 1:14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in thehouse of the LORD of hosts, their God,

“Stirred” is Strong’s #5782 meaning “[…through the idea of opening the eyes]; to wake (lit. or fig.)…”

“Remnant” is Strong’s #7611 meaning, “a remainder or residual (surviving, final) portion:—that had escaped.” Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Old Testament adds, “It is a remainder, a remnant, a residue, survivors (especially after a slaughter)…” I ask, has there been a slaughter in the Worldwide Church of God?

“Work” is Strong’s #4399 meaning, “deputyship...” Zodhiates says, “The principle meaning is deputyship…”

“House” is Strong’s #1004 meaning, “a house (in the greatest variety of applications, especially family, etc.)…”

A deputy acts on behalf of his or her superior, who may be a sheriff, foreign minister, chancellor, etc.

We need to realize what the end-time work is.  It is described in Revelation 7:1-4, 9, 14.

Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands…

14….And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

This is not the same 144,000 described in Revelation 14.

Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads…

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The 144,000 of Revelation 7 come only from the tribes of Israel.  The 144,000 saved beings in Revelation 14 come from all nations, from generic humankind.  The “great multitude, which no man can number” (Revelation 7:9), also comes from “all nations.”

It is totally impossible for the end-time Elijah to go one on one with this many people, and the number is actually doubled.  Remember, fifty percent of the virgins are foolish, but they are still virgins and have to be dealt with.

Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

There will also be a large number of tares to deal with along with the good seed.  Only the Father and Christ know how many.

So here is where the need for deputies comes in.  The deputies will be acting on Elijah’s behalf by furthering his message.  That is how the great commission of Matthew 28:18-20 is accomplished.  Notice in verse 19, they go to “all nations” to teach and baptize.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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.

What they will be teaching consists of the “cry at midnight.”

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.

Until this comes to the virgins, we are ALL asleep.  There are NO exceptions.  If any end-time Christians do not think this verse applies to them, it just shows how sleepy they really are.

Daniel 12:1 describes the great tribulation and verse 2 describes the first resurrection.  Verse 3 shows what the Philadelphians will be doing.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Notice in verse 2 that the saved and the unsaved are both resurrected at the same time.  God will resurrect everyone He has offered salvation to, everyone He has personally dealt with.  The ones who have blown their chance at salvation will be executed in the lake of fire.  (See my article on the Marriage Banquet.)

Notice that Daniel 12:3 describes the “open door” of Revelation 3:8, turning many people to righteousness.  The true Philadelphians go through the doors that Christ opens for them and help the end-time Elijah deliver the cry at midnight by becoming one of his deputies.  There is no gender specified here, men and women have equal opportunity.  (See my paper on A  Woman’s Place in the Church.)

It is obvious that the deputyship goes mostly to the Philadelphians, and possibly to some people of Smyrna. Could you imagine God using a lukewarm Laodicean or a Sardis Christian who won’t stay awake?  God has problems with all the churches except Philadelphia and Smyrna.   However, the message to the Smyrna church indicates that they are away from the wealth of the world, and it will take money to do the work.  Also, the Smyrna Christians are persecuted severely with prison and death.  The money for doing the end-time work is the “goods” that each servant is given when he or she is called.

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

How will we turn many to righteousness?  Will we do it like the Worldwide Church of God did by using a super-church government that Herbert W. Armstrong put into place?  That was totally illegal in God’s sight.  No, we will not do the end-time work that way.

God makes it very plain in the parables of the pounds and talents just how we will do it and where the money comes from.  (See my article on Tithing.)

In Matthew 25:14, the servants are called and the goods are delivered to them.

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 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……..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.

What “goods” did God deliver to you when He called you?  HIS TITHES.  See the same thing in Luke 19:13.

Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Pounds and talents are money in these parables.  Research this for yourself or see my article on Tithing.  Notice that Matthew 25:20 says, “I have gained 5 talents.”  The servant does not say, “I and HWA…” or “I and some corporate group…”  This is a one on one relationship with the called servant and God.

Luke 19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

Luke 19:16 doesn’t say “I” have gained ten pounds, but that “your pound” has gained ten pounds.   But who is responsible for how this tithe money is handled?  Read Luke 19:20-23.  Notice that the responsibility for how God’s tithe money is spent rests with each individual.

Luke 19:20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

We must personally use God’s money wisely.   If we are not sure how to do this, we had better follow God’s instructions and put it in the bank.  This shows that we will have our own personal tithe money to finance our portion of the end-time work.

It certainly would be acceptable to God for a congregation to pool its tithe resources for sending deputies of Elijah to other parts of the world to further the cry at midnight.  Look at a New Testament example.

Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

We could certainly follow the apostles’ example of how the early New Testament Church did this with congregational input.  No one lorded it over any other Church member.  In this way, our individual pounds can gain pounds in a group effort.  In the parable of the talents, the servant makes an individual effort.  He says, “I have gained five talents more.”

In Acts 15:22, “elders” is Strong’s #4245: “(elderly); older; as noun, a senior…”  Now, remember 1 Corinthians 10:11—this is written for us, the end-time Christians, as examples (review definition on page 1).  How many repeats of Paul, Barnabas, Barsabas, Silas, etc., will there be in the end time who will be sent to different parts of the world by local congregations?  Notice again that the whole church has input.  This is a way that our pound can gain ten pounds in a congregational effort.  We, as individual members of the congregation, must have input into how our tithes are used.

This was God’s way at the time of the New Testament Churches and it will be God’s way in the end time.  This will be the way of the Philadelphians as they go through the open door set before them.

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.

Notice that they have only “a little strength.”  Our individual tithes or the tithes of a local congregation would only be a “little strength.”  The Philadelphians use this little strength to turn many to righteousness.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Did the late WCG, the church built on sand, turn many to righteousness with “a little strength?”  The budgets of the former WCG consisting of over 160 million dollars (some years), or the large budgets of its splinter churches at the end time, could hardly be described as “a little strength.”  God is not a part of and will not sanction the big corporate group approach that most of us have been associated with.

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.

As I have said in many articles, there is a “church of Satan” right in the midst of the Philadelphian church.  It will probably be more than fifty percent of the Church members who appear to be Philadelphians.  Many will only be “playing church.”  God gives us an indication of the numbers in the parable of the wheat and tares.  In Matthew 13:29, the weeds have to outnumber the good seed because Christ tells the angels not to pull the weeds for fear of uprooting the good seed.

Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

If the field (church) were only infested with twenty or thirty percent weeds, the weeds could be extracted with little danger to the wheat.  In Matthew 13:37-39, Christ explains this parable.  Satan has a church with members and he also has ministers.

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Matthew 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

When did this planting of weeds happen?  It happened “while men slept” (Matthew 13:25, above).  Isn’t this the same period of time described in Matthew 25:5?

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

We have to remember that the Bible is written for us, the end-time Christians.  Review the definition of “ensamples” (examples) at the front of this article.

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

Continuing in Revelation 3, the Philadelphians are promised some sort of protection from the great tribulation.

Revelation 3:10 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.

“Temptation” is Strong’s #3986, “putting to proof (by experiment)…”   After the Cry at Midnight starts, it goes on for a number of years.  Some of the end-time virgins will die of natural causes, old age, etc.  In the messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, no church is promised protection except the Philadelphians.  It seems to indicate that those other virgins who are alive when the tribulation starts in its full fury will have to give their lives in the tribulation.

Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

It is also clear that tribulation will be a way of life for end-time virgins.  The Smyrna church is told that they will have tribulation “ten days” (or ten years).  It is not very likely that this ten years will start or end at the same time for everyone.  In all likelihood, this will be piecemeal.  The end-time events may go on for quite a number of years.  The virgins are asleep until the cry at midnight happens, and we are only half way to daylight when it starts at midnight.

Everyone who understands end-time prophecy wants to be a Philadelphian, but the Philadelphian virgin has a mind set (attitude) that places him or her in that church.  Merely fellowshipping (playing church) with the true Philadelphians will never make us true Philadelphians unless we repent of all the things that place us in one of the other churches (attitudes).  Christ has no complaint with the Smyrna and Philadelphia churches, but He does accuse the other five of committing fornication with other churches, lukewarmness, (spiritual) sleepiness, blindness, etc.  God mentions no problem in the message to the Smyrna church.  It seems many, or all, have to give their lives in martyrdom.

Published July, 1999

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