To the church in Philadelphia, the recovered church, the Lord has given an open door which no one can shut, because they have a little power and have kept His word and have not denied His name; they are not spectacular Christians but normal believers who do the best they can with the little power they have, and they keep the Lord’s name by not taking any other name but His (Rev. 3:8).
In the church in Thyatira – the Roman Catholic Church – all you see is traditions and teachings of men, even evil teachings, and in the church in Sardis – the Protestant churches – you can clearly see so many traditions and religious matters.
However, in the church in Philadelphia, the church of brotherly love, the recovered church, you see no tradition – here you see only saints who love the Lord, love one another, and love the word of God.
It is so wonderful to know no tradition or religion but just care for the word of God, that is, love the Lord so much that you never separate His word from His presence. Until the day dawns, our practice and living is that we abide, remain, and linger before the Lord in His word until He rises in us as the bright morning star.
We are learning to not just read the Bible but come to the Lord as Person to receive life, and we pray over God’s word, eat the word, enjoy the Lord, chew the word, and speak the word which we love.
God’s word is to us as the face of God: when we see God’s face, we melt in His presence, and so when we read God’s word, we eat His presence, are filled with His presence, and love Him above all.
In the church in Philadelphia we are learning to never divorce the word of God from His very person, for we love Him, care for Him, praise Him, spend time with Him, and want to know Him in His word.
The church in Philadelphia is not filled with super-spiritual believers of giants in faith; what you see here is simple believers who love God’s word and keep His word with the little power that they have.
Even the smallest one among us has a little strength to keep God’s word. God doesn’t want a church of spiritual giants: He wants those who have little power but do the best they can with the little power they have, keeping His word and not denying His name.
Using the Grace God gave us to Keep the Lord’s word so that we may Please Him
Many believers try to be strong in faith, and many seeking Christians want to be spiritual giants or at least spiritual warriors, doing great things for God. While these aspirations are not bad in themselves, we all have to admit that we have a little power, and the grace the Lord gave us is limited in capacity.
Therefore, we shouldn’t necessarily try to be strong but rather do the best with the little power we have. We can never surpass what the Lord gave us, but we may not spend what He has given us.
To each one of us the Lord has given a certain measure of grace; we should not usurp the Lord’s grace, but rather minister the grace God gave us among ourselves (see 1 Pet. 4:10). We should simply keep God’s word, enjoy Him in His word, and be good stewards of the varied grace of God.
We cannot say that we didn’t receive any grace from the Lord; rather, we all have received some amount of grace, we all have a certain capacity, and we all can do our best to keep God’s word by ministering the grace given to us.
We shouldn’t seek to be a giant – the Lord is not happy with “spiritual giants” but rather with the little ones who have an amount of grace. There’s no superstar in Philadelphia, and there’s no outstanding believer in the church of brotherly love.
What we see in the church in Philadelphia is many “little ones” who may be unknown to the world in the sense of not having great outward capacity, but inwardly they do their best with the little power they have to keep the Lord’s word and not deny His name.
Although the grace may be limited in its capacity, as long as we use it, spending it to do as much as we can to keep the Lord’s word, He will be pleased. We simply need to remain in His word and no go beyond what He told us; our love for God is perfected in our keeping of His word.
We shouldn’t follow traditions or men – we should follow the Lord, learn from Him, be in His word, and fellowship with Him as we read and pray His love letter, the Bible.
What pleases the Lord and what makes Him with us is not the great works that we may do “in His name” (yet without His presence or approving) but doing the best we can with the little we have. We can only do our best with what we have, with what the Lord gave us; this is all He asks for.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving us a measure of grace; we simply want to spend it as much as we can to keep Your word so that You may be pleased. Save us from trying to be spiritual giants or striving to be strong; may we just enjoy You in Your word and abide in Your word, keeping Your word with the little power that we have. Lord Jesus, we love You, we love Your word, we love Your name, and we want to stay in Your word, keep Your word, and not deny Your name.
Not Denying the Lord’s Name but Calling on His Name to Enjoy and be Filled with Him
In Rev. 3:8 the Lord says that the church in Philadelphia has not denied His name. What does it mean to deny the Lord’s name? The Lord’s word is His expression, and the Lord’s name is actually the Lord Himself.
This is why, when we come to the Lord’s word, we cannot disassociate it from His person; when we read the Bible, we need to contact the Lord and not deny His name.
The recovered church has not only returned in a full way to the Lord’s word but also has abandoned all names beside the Lord’s name. Ever since the Lord raised up the brothers in England in the early part of the nineteenth century, they have never taken any other name than the name of the Lord.
The apostate church – the Roman Catholic church – has deviated from the Lord’s word and has become heretical.
The reformed church, though it was recovered to the Lord’s word to some extent, has denied the Lord’s name by calling itself – denominating herself – with many other names such as Lutheran church, Wesleyan church, Presbyterian church, Pentecostal church, Anglican church, or Baptist church.
But in the Lord’s recovery we have returned not only to the Lord’s word but also to His name; we have abandoned any other names other than the name of the Lord, and we have nothing to do with any other denominations.
To deviate from the Lord’s word is apostasy, and to name ourselves with any name other than the Lord’s name is spiritual fornication. We as the church are a chaste virgin espoused to Christ – Christ is our Husband, and we should not take any other name beside our husband’s (see 2 Cor. 11:2).
If my wife would like to take the name of another man, this clearly indicates fornication; she is my wife, she loves me, and she takes my name – this is a principle both in the human life and in the spiritual life. In the church life in the Lord’s recovery we have no other name beside thee Lord’s name.
The recovered church has no denominations (names) but the unique name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The deviation from the Word to heresies and the exaltation of so many names other than that of Christ are the most striking signs of degraded Christianity. The return to the pure Word from all heresies and traditions and the exaltation of the Lord’s name by abandoning every other name are the most inspiring testimony in the recovered church. This is why the church in the Lord’s recovery has the revelation and presence of the Lord and expresses the Lord in a living way, full of light and with the riches of life. Witness Lee, Life-study of Revelation, p. 188
The Lord’s name is rich, all-sufficient, and above every name; we don’t need any other name like Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Anglican, Lutheran, or other names; we have the one name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we do not denominate ourselves by any other name.
We are Mrs. Jesus, the church. That’s all we are.
Subjectively, we go even further: we don’t only bear the Lord’s name, but we call on the Lord’s name, we love His name, we breathe in His name, and wherever we are we just call on His name!
As the first believers did, in the church in Philadelphia we call on the name of the Lord, and others know us as the Lord’s disciples simply because we call on His name.
May there be a mighty revival of calling on the name of the Lord among us so that, everywhere we go, we would whisper His name, call on His name, confess His name, and even shout His name.
Calling on the name of the Lord is a living and visible sign of our love for Him. His name is as ointment poured forth, and when we call, Oh Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus! Oh Lord Jesus….we taste His sweetness, His life-supply, and His riches (Rom. 10:13).
We are those who call on the name of the Lord – and no other name, and call ourselves by His name – and by no other name, because we love Him, we are Mrs. Jesus, and we are filled with Him, saturated with Him, and permeated with Him. We will never deny His name but rather call on His name most dearly again and again!
Lord Jesus, we return to the pure word of God from all heresies and traditions, and we exalt the name of the Lord by abandoning every other name! We in the church life take no other name beside the Lord’s, and we keep His name by calling on His name every day and in every place! Oh Lord Jesus! Your name is so sweet, so rich, so life-giving, and so dear to us! We love to breathe Your name, call on Your name, and even shout Your name, because we love You! Lord Jesus, Your name is like ointment poured forth. Lord Jesus, we love You, we love Your name, and we love Your word! Oh Lord Jesus!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Revelation, pp. 187-188 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church (2016 fall ITERO), msg. 7 (week 7), The Church in Philadelphia.
- Hymns on this topic:
# I know your works; / Behold, I have put before you an opened door / Which no one can shut, / Because you have / A little power, / Have kept My word, / Have not denied My name. (Scripture song)
# Thy name is as ointment poured forth: / Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! / Thy name is as ointment poured forth, / Thy name is as ointment poured forth. (Hymns #1084)
# In the God of our salvation we may take delight, / Calling on His name at all times, though in bliss or blight. / I will call upon His name as long as I shall live, / Because He has inclined His ear, and grace so full does give. (Hymns #1083)
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