The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Chapter 2 & 3

By Lucinda Evans

Ephesus

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. Rev. 2:1-6

The name Ephesus means 'desirable'. One of the most important events after the 'born again' experience is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (the Feast of Pentecost). It has always been the desire of God to be able to communicate directly with His people. In the Book of Acts the 19th Chapter, Paul came upon some disciples that had not heard of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, therefore had not experienced Pentecost. After his discourse, Paul baptized them in water and then laid his hands upon them, "the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." In the book of Ephesians, we learn that they "were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession". Now we come to Revelation the 2 nd Chapter, John is told to write to this church and tell them that they had "left their first love."

In Exodus 20:19-21, we see the Old Testament type of this feast when the Spirit of God came down as fire upon Mount Sinai and to speak with all the people. When saw the fire and lightning and heard the thunder, the people withdrew themselves and said "they all said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die" (Ex. 20:19). The Ten Commandments were more than they could bare and they knew that to hear from God directly would bring them into a responsibility that they didn't want. Moses urged them to draw near to God and hear the rest of the Law, but "the people stood afar off" (Ex. 20:21).

Much like the children of Israel under Moses, the Church at Ephesus was the same way. To a certain degree they can handle the Ten Commandments, but don't want any other demands put on them. They too, wanted one to stand in the gap and tell them all that God had to say. The real heart of this matter reveals to us that wants to avoid responsibility for he knows that if he hears God 'directly' speak to him, then he becomes responsibility. There are two principles at work here: 1. They wanted a priest to stand for them and 2. They would decide if they wanted to accept what he said or not.

Little did they realize that their refusal to "hear" would keep them from entering and possessing the land that God had given to them. This would be left to another generation that would spring up out of the midst of them. Since the people refused to hear the Word of God, and "faith comes by hearing," (Rom. 10:17) the people wandered in the "wilderness" and were left without the faith necessary to enter the Promised Land. All the people had enough faith to come out of Egypt and be justified by the blood of the Lamb; but they didn't have enough to inherit the Kingdom. Thus, the nation of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years between Egypt (Passover) and Canaan (Tabernacles) because at Sinai (Pentecost) they refused to hear God for themselves. They wanted all the benefits but without personal responsibility. But out of the midst of this rebellious generation came the generation led by Joshua and Caleb and they entered into Canaan and possessed their inheritance.

When we look at the Church of Ephesus (33-64 AD) we see plainly see the parallel, and we can also understand that the body of Christ has been a "church in the wilderness" under Moses (Acts 7:38) that wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, and there has also been a church in the wilderness for almost 2000 years (40 Jubilees). Remember that a Jubilee is 50 years, symbolic of Pentecost! But praise God, there is a new generation of overcomers arising! We are on the verge of a release of a new generation going forth into Tabernacles and possessing their inheritance. This new generation not only hears ABOUT God through men, but they HEAR God for themselves. They have come FULLY into Pentecost and the Holy Spirit is leading them into all Truth! It is only through this spiritual progression that hearing becomes more than words believing, but hearing actually becomes faith, the substance of things hoped for! Hearing through the mouths of men can only bring us to a certain level, but hearing the voice of God will produces FAITH!

The majority in the Church of Ephesus were listening to men and not God! Their turning away from their FIRST LOVE, the voice of their beloved, caused them to come into a place where they only knew what they were told by men, thereby entering into man-made doctrines rather than Spirit-led principles of the Word of God. Men in the priestly role began 'lord over' the people, stand in the stead of Christ, and became lords unto THEMSELVES thereby giving rise to Nicolaitanism, which means "to be victorious over the laity (people)".

The Ascension Gifts of the five-fold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher) were not given to stand in the 'stead of Christ' or to be 'vicars', rather they were given "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13). So we see that from this scripture that leadership is not to be removed, rather the people are to also seek the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit for themselves.

There were a select group of people in the Church of Ephesus that God commended because they hated "the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate" (Rev. 2:6). The scripture does not say they hated the Nicolaitanes, but that they hated the DEEDS of them, as did God. The Apostle Paul as a leader in the Church never used his authority to usurp the position of Christ in the lives of people. In 1Corinthians 1:10-17 Paul said,

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. Many point to the scripture that Paul says that others are to be followers of him in 1Cor. 1:11, but that is not exactly what he was saying. He said "EVEN AS" he was a follower of Christ. Anytime that Paul failed to be following Christ he was saying don't follow me. We are to be followers of Christ and those who follow HIM, not those who are in error even though they may have started out correctly. The traditions and doctrines of men make the word of God of none effect and any leader that begins to usurp the authority of Christ will bring forth doctrines which cause the people to have to go through 'them' rather than directly to Christ. This type of ministry was that which the Nicolaitanes had and God hated it. Anytime the people stop listening to God, it opens the door for this type of influence over them.

The doctrines of the Nicolaitanes was throughout the church world but the Church of Ephesus recognized it as ungodly and hated it. They also had tried those who said they were Apostles and were not. But God was warning the Church at Ephesus that they had left their FIRST LOVE and only by returning could they squelch the influence of this ungodly doctrine from coming in. He was telling them that they had to seek and listen to God for themselves in order to be free of it.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Rev. 2:7

Those who are interdependent upon the Christ will draw upon the power that is resident within which will release an outflow of the Christ within. For it is He that overcomes, it is He that is the victor. He is the Captain of our Salvation (Heb. 2:10). In the eating of the tree of life (Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life) we find that we are filled with Him and we are transformed from within to without. In our seeking Him in the midst of the influences which are around us, we become filled with Him and experientially dwell in the paradise of God. No longer for flesh to divide, for it has been changed to another glory. Our outward man has been redeemed and now can bask as one in His presence.

The Church at Smyrna

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 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. 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. Rev. 2:8-10

The name Smyrna means "myrrh". This was an anointing oil and spices which were used for the preparation of the dead for burial. It was in the crushing of this substance that the sweet fragrance was released. This was the Church of the Martyrs. The Roman Empire came with a vengence, killed them, and sought to totally annihilate them. Through their martyrdom and persecution, vast numbers of men were astonished at their courage which was bathed with boldness and humility and were converted to Christ.

The Roman Empire wanted to rule the people and did not want the people to have any form of independence or look to someone else for leadership. And that included God! There was a structure of leadership in the Church that the Emporers hated because they did not establish it. They saw the structure of leadership as a threat to their authority and their ability to decree what was right and what was wrong, for they had their gods that they listened to.

It was in the killing and persecution of the Christians that they thought to establish themselves as the ruling force in the midst of the people. The Old Testament equation of this is that of the Korah rebellion. But what is important here is that Korah did believe in God and believed also that all people could hear from God for themselves but he failed to recognize and give honor to those that God had set in the body for all who were still spiritually immature (those who had not come into the fullness of the stature of Christ). Although Korah could hear from God, he himself was spiritually immature and was in need of leadership, but refused it and sought to lead a rebellion against the God established order of Moses and Aaron. In his rebellion, he was placing himself into the role of a priest, to which God did not call him. Although he did hear from God, there came a time when he ceased to hear HIM and became a god unto himself and began to follow his OWN voice. He was truly destroyed for a lack of knowledge (understanding).

As we recognized that it is God who established authority, we will also understand that is God that deals with that authority. Seventeen years passed before David was able to take his position as king of Israel. And he was ANOINTED by God through the prophet Samuel as king! But there was another man in office that had also been anointed and was reigning in that place of authority. When Saul became abusive and sought his life, David no longer had to stay under his authority. Many times David had the opportunity to kill Saul and many would have said that he had every right to do so, but David understood authority and God's order of things. Saul was the "Lord's anointed" and therefore he would not touch him. There was a time that David was close enough to kill Saul, in fact he even cut a piece of fabric from his cloak, but David was quick to repent of doing even that! Saul belonged to God and God would deal with him. David was anointed as king, but it was in the caves and the dark places that he was MADE a king and he was still in fellowship with God's people.

God tells the Church at Smyrna that He knows "the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." These were those who set their hearts to destroy Jesus, the anointed one sent from heaven, and they killed Him! They said they were Jews for they said to Jesus, "Abraham is our father." Then Jesus told them, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham (John 8:39&40). They were threatened by His power and authority and they wanted to maintain their status quo and according to Matt. 21:38 they wanted to "seize His inheritance".

Just because their lineage of descent was from Abraham, their works disqualified them as Jews for it was their works that declared who they were. In Romans 2:28-29 Paul said, "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 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. The Lord has plainly stated that those not circumcised in their hearts of the 'synagogue of Satan'.

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. Rev. 2:11

Now we are come forth in His life. No longer bound to the death which was passed from the first Adam who was a living soul but bound in the life that is passed from the LAST Adam, Jesus the life giving Spirit! No longer to mind the things of the flesh, but ever mindful of the things of the Spirit. Because of our identification with Christ, we have been made conformable to His death (Phil. 3:10), now we have been made alive in His LIFE. The man of sin has been crucified with Christ and now Christ lives within. The overcomer is one who is conformed to the heart of the Father with the very heartbeat of His nature. He takes no thoughts to His own pleasures nor seeks His own. He will await the time of his revealing and place in the kingdom and it is brought forth in the time and the way of the Father. Although he knows who he is, he will not overstep the boundries of the plan of God.

The Church at Pergamos

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 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 stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Rev. 2:12-16

The name Pergamos means 'fortified, a tower' which represents power. The Nicolaitane doctrine had invaded this Church and so the One who has the sharp sword with which to administer justice (Rev. 2:12) warns them to repent or else He will come and administer that justice upon them (2:16). This Church is commended for holding fast to His Name and for not denying His faith (Rev. 2:13).

God describes the Nicolaitane doctrine saying, "which thing I hate" (Rev. 2:15). It is one of the few things in the Bible that God says he hates. And when we see how this doctrine was used to murder literally millions of people in the following centuries, we will understand completely why God hates it. God warns this Church specifically to repent of this doctrine, "or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth" (Rev. 2:16). The mandate of the Nicolaitane doctrine was to have a priest without accountability and whose dictates were infallible. This promoted an unquenchable thirst for power and wielded dictatorially upon the people. These men supposedly were the only one's who had the authority to open or close heaven's doors and they had the authority to dictate one's access to God.

The majority of these men never sought the counsel of the Lord but rather pursued the dictates of their own hearts. Their abilities to motivate the people and build the religious structure VERIFIED their elect calling. The church sought unity at any cost. Those who tried to go another way or withstood the structure were branded heretics and were killed in the name of defending of the faith!

Now He comes and reprimands this Church and reminds them that He is the one holding the sword—not the Church. The Sword of His mouth is about to execute justice if they don't repent of their abusive authority over the people. And He is holding the head of that Church directly responsible.

Then "the doctrine of Balaam" was brought to the attention of the people for it is the 'opinions' or 'wanton desires' of man, rather than the 'Word' of the Lord. Balaam was a man who heard the word of the Lord and when he disagreed with what he heard, he would look for ways to get around it. He would take the word and make try to make it fit into his scheme of things. The king of Moab had hired Balaam to curse the nation of Israel but Balaam knew that he could not do that. But because of his love of money, he was willing to do anything to get it, so when he sought the Lord again, the Lord told him to go with them (Num. 22:20). When he did so, he stepped out of the favor of God and by undermining the nation of Israel, God became His adversary. So Balaam counseled the king to get the children of Israel to intermarry with the Moabites. It was through these intermarriages that the people would be exposed to the idolatry of Baal-peor (Numbers 25 and 31:16). He knew that if the children of Israel were to become involved in idolatry that the wrath of God would come upon them and that is just what happened.

As Balaam was proceeding down the road, The Angel of God told Balaam, "Behold, I went out to withstand thee because thy way is perverse before Me. Balaam immediately perceived him as an adverstary, as being against him. Balaam did not like the Word God gave him on the first time, so he decided to try again (Num. 23:13). When the second try did not bring the results that he wanted, he tried a third time! In their desire to convert the nations, the Church at Pergamos began to let the pagan community come in and it wasn't long before NUMBERS and DOLLAR SIGNS became the motivation of the day. The word of God became polluted with pagan beliefs and rituals. The Church had learned the ways of Balaam and if they are not hearing what they want to hear they will call God Satan and tell Him to get behind them. Many of the 'name it and claim it' folk are rebuking the devil because they haven't gotten what they have wanted, but they are really rebuking God. God is withholding because their motivation is all wrong! When their motivation becomes unpolluted He will then give them their desires if it is not to the detriment of another.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Rev. 2:17

All have overcome to a certain degree in Christ for it is a finished work, however there is an experiential outworking in our lives which is to take place. So precious and pure is this work, that it cannot be bought or sold. The overcomer has been judged to be righteous and pure and holy and his name has been inscribed upon the stone which decrees life and freedom. It is the final adjudication that declares NOT GUILTY, NEVER BEEN GUILTY. No longer known by the old man that he was, rather he has a new name (a new nature), a manifested son of God! He has been transformed, transfigured and changed into His image. He has feasted at the Master's table and partaken of the life which has seemed to be hidden for so long, but now is no longer a mystery, but now is a transformed life which has come forth out of the cocoon of our lives, the CHARACTER OF CHRIST.

The Church at Thyatira

And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 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. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 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. Rev. 2:18-23

Thyatira means "castle of the goddess". The Son of God comes to this Church with eyes like unto a flame of fire (discerning and purging) and his feet are like fine brass (refined judgment). Since the message to this Church includes a reference to "that woman, Jezebel" (Rev. 2:20), many believe that the name Thyatira comes from the Greek words, thea, "a female deity, goddess," and tyrannos, "a tyrant or ruler." In this way they conclude that Thyatira means "ruled by a woman." This speaks of the unrenewed mind (psuche: feminine soul) ruling over the spirit of the man. Ahab was the king of Israel which represents the man in authority in the temple, 'know ye not that ye are the temple of the Holy Ghost'? Jezebel is the seducing woman (soulish realm) that seeks to rule the temple and usurps authority through her wanton desires. Jezebel seduced Ahab and through this unholy alliance, children were caused to pass through the fires and be sacrificed to idols and seduced the servants of God to commit fornication. To be interact to that which they were not joined to.

Jezebel's hometown was Tyre and she was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians (1 Kings 16:31). Ethbaal was a type of antichrist or one who was "in the place of" Christ. Ethbaal governed as the highest representative of Baal and when Ahab married Jezebel, Ethbaal's laws began to govern Israel in the place of the laws of God. In marrying Jezebel, the king of Israel joined himself with her god, Baal thereby placing Israel under the power of the kingdom of Baal on earth. He caused the children to go into the fire of sacrifice and would eat meats sacrificed to idols. Ethbaal—through his daughter Jezebel--was the real power behind Israel's monarchy and Ahab was a mere king by reason of formality. Ethbaal was a king of kings to all who worshipped Baal and Jezebel persecuted the true prophets of God and the remnant seed during the days of Elijah (1 Kings 18:13).

The Church of Thyatira is condemned for allowing "that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols" (Rev. 2:20). Jezebel called herself 'a prophetess'. The Lord did not give her that title and we have many in the church today that have called themselves prophets and they are not. They prophesy out of the soulish realm (Jezebel, the woman) rather than the spirit. Today, the unrenewed mind (soul) is the Jezebel and this person can be either MALE or FEMALE. There are women in ministry today who are called and ordained of God for in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female. And it is the Spirit that we need to be hearing from and not the carnal thoughts and interpretations of men.

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. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev. 2:24-29

The overcomer is fully submitted to His authority and within that submission, He releases His authority. He entrusts with power over the nations for we have learned to let His nature rule and reign within us never misusing that power or walking outside the dictates of His will. They are able to separate the precious from the vile and only cleave to that which is precious. No longer are the emotions and self will intimidating or manipulating, rather are they given over to the Christ within and replaced with His attributes that are pleasing to the Father. And it is in the receiving the morning star that we are given THE MESSAGE of the NEW DAY and we become the light bearers of God. Our vessels have been broken and the light of Him has been released in the midst of us. It is the same breaking that He received of His Father, the self-will. His rule over us is that of iron (a Shepherd) and how gently and with great strength He truly carries us. Always preparing the way before us, always leading, and always guiding.

The Church at Sardis

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 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. 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. Rev. 3:1-4

Sardis means "precious stone (i.e., the sardius stone), remnant." It is interesting to note at this point that the name of the tribe of Judah is inscribed upon this stone in the Breastplate of the Old Testament High Priest. This church was known to be a lively, jumping, moving church and probably in revival, but the Lord said that she was DEAD! And within her sanctuary there were a few names which have not defiled their garments. They were the remnant, the church within the church, the hidden ones who had not bowed their knee to Baal. They definitely were not rejoiced over by the status quo and more than likely they were scoffed at, ridiculed and probably called 'holier than thou' to quote a term of recent times. They were in the minority, a silent voice that few would adhere to. Oftentimes they were branded as heretics, ostracized or cast out. They were promised the garments of righteousness, holiness, and purity; to be clothed with their heavenly tabernacle. The Church at Sardius is told to be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. For I have not found thy works perfect before God. They were being warned to strengthen what little they had left and to remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.

It is quite apparent that they too had embraced the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes and probably embraced some paganism as well. They had embraced laws, and rituals and traditions which were making the Word of God of none effect. Bondage was rampant and the gospel of GRACE was seldom mentioned. They had their pomp and pageantries with all the hoopla they could muster. The outside of the cup was beautiful, but the inside was filthy and their white sepultures were full of dead mens bones. They were warned that if they continued the way they were, that His coming to them would be unexpected and they would not be able to be clothed with that which was heavenly. Not only that, but He would come and go as a thief; in other words, they would not even know that He had been there. So they were told to repent and watch!

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev. 3:5-6

These overcomers are promised that their garments would be that of righteousness. This clothing is that which has been long awaited for and it is more than an outer garment, it is a state of BEING! They have been made partakers of His holiness, His very own nature, completely one with Him. Their name remains within the pages of the Book of Life, the book of the Life of God and His Lamb and His Overcomers. The book of the firstfruits company which would in turn release life to a lost and dying creation. Their name (nature) to be confessed and testified before the Father in the midst of His holy messengers! All because they embrace the gospel of GRACE and allowed it to have its perfect work within them through the ministry of the POWER of an ENDLESS LIFE which was forever after the order of Melchizedek, our Lord Jesus the Christ.

The Church at 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. 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. Rev. 3:7-11

The name Philadelphia means 'brotherly love'. In the Greek language there were three types of love: eros, phileo, and agape. The love in the name of Philadelphia comes from phileo.

Eros is the most selfish and immature form of love. It is best defined as NEED and self-gratification. It is demanding and dependent upon others and unable to meet the needs of others.

Phileo is the kind of love a child learns in relating to their siblings. They have respect for one anothers property and rights. This love respects the laws of God and of man and causes one to become 'his brothers keeper'.

Agape is the unconditional love and is a love that will lay down its life for the brethren. It is a love that is unselfish, unconditional, and fatherly. It is a giving love that prefers the welfare of another before ones self. A love that will sacrifice it own wants for the needs of others.

The Church at Philadelphia had before them an open door, and no man can shut it. There was no stopping where they could go or what they could do through the door that the Lord had opened. And they were given the key of David made them the porters and the keepers of the house and of the city. In Isaiah 22:15-25, the key of David was taken from Shebna, the Scribe and given to Eliakim (which means "whom God sets up") to be the keeper of the house. In the days of Hezekiah, Shebna was the representative of "the synagogue of Satan". Although he may have been a 'Jew', his heart was not circumcised and therefore was not a 'true Jew'. He was an imposter with the heart of a deceiver. It is interesting to note that this Church was reflective of the Hezekiah Church in the Old Testament and that the name Hezekiah means "strength." Yet God describes this Church as having a little strength and yet in their weakness, He (the Lord) was made strong within the midst of them and they kept His word, and denied not His name. God loved these people and promised them that He would make them (the liars) to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. He would cause those of the synagogue of Satan to experience the fear of the Lord and cause them to bow their knee before them that they sought to destroy.

They were promised that He would keep them from falling in the midst of the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth. Quickly He would come and cut short the work in righteousness and all they had to do was hold fast to that which they had.

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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev. 3:12-13

As pillars, they would be declared a people of strength and uprightness resting upon the foundation of the Holy habitation upholding the covering (roof). Another way to put it is that the covering (roof) would rest upon them. They would stand securely and firmly in their place, no more to go out or be moved in any way. And upon these overcomers is written the name of God. His very nature is inscribed upon them and also the name (nature) of His city. Oh, to be identified with Him, receiving His name and all that goes with it. The ring has been put upon our finger and we are truly married to Him. No greater honor could ever be bestowed by the Creator to His creation. How glorious He is! Great is His clothing of humility!

The Church at Laodicea

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. 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: 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. 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. Rev. 3:14-20

The name Laodicea means either "power OF the laity" (people) or "power OVER the laity" (captivity). It also means to be governed by the laity. It reflects a democratic rule of church government which is rebellious to the order of God's house. God's divine government is a theocracy where Jesus Christ is King, God rules, and NO ONE HAS A VOTE! Therefore it absolutely assures us of righteousness ruling and prevailing thereby bringing us into the perfect law of liberty (James 2:12). Through this structure, mistakes are never made and everything stays in order.

The Church at Laodicea had intermingled herself with the ways of Babylon and had increased tremendously in riches and raiment. She owed her riches to the world and to the world gave she her allegiance. She was in a state of complacency with God and no longer felt a need for Him. She thought herself to be in need for nothing or no one and had become blinded to the God of her salvation. She was wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. So total was her blindness that she didn't even know the state that she was in. God counseled her to purchase what she was in need of. The PRICE was simply repentance. Through repentance, she would be clothed upon with a nature and faith that was that was tried in the fire. He riches would be beyond all that the world could give her and her nakedness would be covered, never to be seen again. Her eyes would be anointed once again and she would be able to see, and she would be able to discern good from evil. She would have the eyes of the Spirit. He was standing at the door knocking and all she has to do is hear and let Him in. The Master would enter IN TO HIM and would SUP with him (communion).

Sad it is to say that the Church of today truly as a whole reflects this Laodicea Church. Her faith is in her riches and goods and has not come through the hearing of God's Word, therefore it is an unrefined faith that will not stand in the testing of the refiner's fire. Only those clothed in righteousness will stand in the refiner's fire. They who have not given themselves to oppression for gain.

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. Rev. 3:21-22

The overcomer shares the throne with His God to rule and reign in righteousness, grace, and truth. His life has truly become their life and His ways have become their ways. They can be entrusted with God's authority and power for they are in 'common' 'union' with Him. They are ONE BREAD and bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. They have partaken of His Blood and His Life is in THEIR Blood! The are incorruptible and have put on immortality through the power of the SON and have been changed INTO HIS IMAGE and entered into HIS GLORY.

What is God saying to us through these Churches. What is it that He is doing in this hour. He is telling us that we have been CALLED OUT and CHOSEN with a HOLY CALLING and to make ready, for the day that has burned within our hearts is upon us. We are about to come before Him once again for the THIRD time in this THIRD day. We are about to enter into the fullness of His Spirit which will be released experientially within the Church as we enter the Feast of Tabernacles. LET HIM WHO HATH AN EAR HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES!