As we begin our journey with the Lord through His letter to Philadelphia, I thought I would share the beautiful prophetic picture the Lord gave me as He linked these letters to Himself. I did not get these from Strong’s Concordance, that just says they were cities in Asia Minor. I got these from a brother in Christ so I cannot verify these meanings, but I hope you enjoy it. The meanings are in brackets.
Ephesus, My (beloved darling), to Me you are the aroma of Smyrna (myrrh, the sweet perfume of the Holy Spirit’s anointing oil and sanctification). Even though you dwell in the (city of the Serpent) Pergamum, you are My Thyatira, My (daughter) and My Sardis, (the one I hold in My hand). To Me you are like Philadelphia, (a friendly city of brotherly love) where I can bring Laodicea (the completely new reign of My kingdom).
What image do you have in your mind when you behold the Church? Jesus said He is returning for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. I would venture a guess that most of us do not see the church as glorious because of her multiple issues and sins. However, while this may be true from a physical or worldly viewpoint, is this true in the eternal kingdom of heaven, where Jesus sits enthroned at the Father’s right hand, which is the same position He has elevated His Church too?
The word Philadelphia comes from two Greek words meaning to love and brother. It has to do with brotherly love. Brotherly love, or to love the brethren (family of God) is the Lord’s second commandment to us, His beloved “Bride.” In this city Jesus found the saints walking in love towards one another. This is the only letter to the Churches where He has no “issues” to address. In loving each other they were loving Him and that is all He asks for. In God’s kingdom this is the height of success.
Jesus comes to the saints (the most holy ones) in Philadelphia with a beautiful revelation of Himself. He reveals to them that He is the One who is Holy and True, that He holds the key of David and that whatever doors He opens no one can shut and whatever He closes no one can open. Keeping in mind the meaning of Philadelphia, love is the key that opens and shuts the things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven, and that this door is wide open to them.
The keys to the kingdom of heaven being opened to you are not based on your “sinlessness” but on your love for the Lord and the saints. Sadly, I think many of the doctrines in the church are so focused on our “sinfulness” (which contradicts the truth of having been made righteous!) that we have become so inward focused, depressed, and miserable because of our “sinful condition” that we have no grace to love the brethren.
The foundation of God’s kingdom is righteousness. Righteousness, or being conscious of and living in the truth of your eternal righteousness, produces joy, freedom, deliverance, and a strong capacity to love. Jesus dealt with your “sinfulness” once and for all when He shed his blood and died for you. Through His blood, His death, and His resurrection, He removed your sin from Him, from the Father, from the Holy Spirit and His heavenly kingdom – AND REMOVED THEM FROM YOU – AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST AND REMEMBERS THEM NO MORE!
God is not obsessed with, hassled by, depressed because of, or angry about your sins and failures! He does not pay them any attention. He is obsessed with, delighted because of, at peace with you, because of His righteousness in you. He is obsessed with you coming to know the fulness of His love, His righteousness, His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy, and His goodness. This is the knowledge of the Tree of Life and this knowledge is your victory over sin and death.
So be encouraged, God is not upset, angry, or disappointed with you. He is in love with you and sees no fault in you. He is bringing you into His perfection.
Have a loving day! 💕
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