Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
Florida Conference 2006. Part 2. The Church of Philadelphia.
Friday, April 28, 2006
The Book of Revelation is the textbook of world history from the time of John A.D. 96 to the end of time.
We have been looking at this study from the view that the seven churches portray seven different types of individual believers that live in every generation.
It was a missionary city from the beginning, founded to promote a certain unity of spirit, customs, and loyalty within the realm.
In AD 17, the city of Philadelphia was completely destroyed by an unusually severe earthquake which also destroyed Sardis.
The people in Philadelphia were constantly having to flee the city in order to avoid being crushed by falling masonry from houses.
After the earthquake, the city was rebuilt and given a new name.
Philadelphia was also the center of a very large Jewish population.
Nothing that the Lord does is an accident.
That’s quite a spiritual principle, I’d say.
Perhaps the most obvious fact about the nature of the lives that these Philadelphia believers led in the first century AD has to do with the phenomenon of earthquakes.
While the word “earthquake” does not appear in the passage at all, it is a key that unlocks one’s understanding of the impact of what was written to the Philadelphia church.
As at Sinai, EXO 19:18, when God visits, the earth quakes.
PSA 68:8 The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
MAT 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
Among the 14 times seismos is used, 3 refer to historical earthquakes:
1) the response of the Father to His Son’s crucifixion
2) the opening of the tomb to expose the Resurrection, MAT 28:2
3) the prying open of the Philippian jail to release Paul and Silas, ACT 16:26
In each case the earthquake serves an evangelistic purpose.
“Shook” = aor-pass-ind – seio = to rock (vibrate, properly, sideways or to and fro), i.e. (generally) to agitate (in any direction; cause to tremble); figuratively, to throw into a tremor (of fear or concern):
KaiV tw/â€™ a*ggevlw
Angel – angeloo – a*ggevlw = the messenger or the future pastor-teachers of the church of Philadelphia or the Philadelphia type of believers.
“And to the messenger [pastor-teacher]”
“My beloved brethren” – genitive of relationship from the personal pronoun ego – mou [my] + vocative plural noun adelphos – adelphoi [brethren] + adjective agapetoi [beloved] used to indicate in a technical sense members of the Royal Family of God.
The Royal Family is actually formed by two ministries of God the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation: regeneration, by which we are born again into the family of God, and baptism of the Holy Spirit by which we become royalty.
“Beloved brethren” is an important title because it is used as title for the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is designed as an adjective to make you conscious of the fact that you are a member of the Royal Family of God.
Believers in the church at Philippi had reached supergrace and are now ready to follow Paul into no man’s land and advance to ultra supergrace, and for this reason they will be the basis for Paul’s highest decoration, the wreath of glory.
When we gather together, we are gathering together not for fellowship but to hear the word of God, HEB 10:25.
Our goal and our purpose should be to evangelize and teach the Gospel correctly to the unbeliever and to prepare the believer to communicate the Gospel correctly.
Our goal and our purpose should be to communicate the PPOG and Bible doctrine to the believer.
Our goal and our purpose should be to raise up evangelists and pastors and missionaries and send them out throughout the world.
Anyone who is positive toward Bible doctrine becomes a source of happiness and encouragement to the one who communicates Bible doctrine.
Anyone who grows and advances spiritually under the ministry of a pastor-teacher becomes a source of happiness for that pastor.
And you can work it all the way back right to the fact that all growth, all blessing, anything that is worthwhile in life, loving Jesus Christ, capacity for life, capacity for love, capacity for happiness, all of these things are tied into Bible doctrine.
When a right pastor has gone to supergrace and then on to ultra supergrace, nothing makes him happier than to have his congregation follow.
JOH 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;”
JOH 12:26 “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
When Paul mentions “my wreath,” he is talking about surpassing grace or the blessings and decorations related to eternity.
PHI 4:1 – my source of happiness refers to blessings in time.
My crown refers to blessings in the eternal state.
Your decision to attend a local assembly really begins with your decision to first of all choose a pastor-teacher.
First of all, the Word of God has always been and must always be our norm and standard for decision making.
1. Never choose a local church because of convenience.
When fully prepared pastors are not using their spiritual gift in some way, this category of men stand in condemnation of the apostate generation.
2. You should not choose a local church because of what it can give you.
In REV 3:17, the Laodicean church was rich and wealthy and had need of nothing.
3. You should not choose a local church because your friends go there.
4. You should not choose a local church because your family has attended there for years.
5. You should never choose a local church because it offers a good youth program for your children.
MAT 4:4 “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Does the local church stay true to all the central doctrines of the Christian faith?
2TI 3:16 All Scripture is [theopneustos] God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
2TI 3:17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
JOH 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
2PE 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,
2PE 1:21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.