The church in Philadelphia is not made up of super-spiritual Christians who do great works for God, but rather, in the Lord’s eyes they are those who have a little power and have kept His word and have not denied His name, therefore the Lord has put before them an opened door which no one can shut (see Rev. 3:8).
To the other churches the Lord had to say a lot of things to rebuke them and expose their failures, but to the church in Philadelphia He only encouraged them to keep His word, and He Himself is the Holy One, the One who has the key of David, the One who opens and no one will shut, and shuts and no one will open (Rev. 3:7).
The Lord has started a process of recovery from the time of Martin Luther, but it was mainly in the nineteenth century that He gained some brothers who left and put aside any form, denomination, opinion, and doctrine, and met as brothers according to the word of God.
Through these brothers, who did not consider anyone but the Lord as the Head and did simply love one another and stayed in the Lord’s word, God could recover, reveal, unearth, and bring to light many deep and precious truths in the word of God.
Furthermore, the Lord has continued to speak, reveal, and shine in His recovery through the ministry of brother Watchman Nee and brother Witness Lee, and He went further, deeper, and higher, even reaching the highest peak of the divine revelation in His recovery.
Today we are those who don’t have a great power, a great number, or a great amount of wise ones according to the world among us, but the Lord’s word is prevailing, His speaking is fresh, and we just love one another and want to meet and enjoy the Lord together so that we may receive His fresh speaking and be blended together.
It is the Lord’s mercy that today we are in the church of brotherly love, the church in which we just love the Lord, hold on to His word, love one another, and hold fast to what we have until the Lord returns.
We are not strong in ourselves or powerful in word and works, but we love the Lord and the saints, and His word is prevailing among us! Thank You, Lord!
The Lord has Given the Recovered Church an Opened Door which no one can Shut!
As the One who has the key of David and who opens and no one can shut, the Lord has given the recovered church an opened door which no one can shut (Rev. 3:8).
In the Roman Catholic Church (the reality of the church in Thyatira) there are over one billion people, but they don’t have the One who has the key of David; they don’t have an open door, but they rather impose their religion with the sword on the nations.
But through the years the Lord’s recovery has experienced the Lord as such a One; since the recovery of the proper church life has begun in the early part of the nineteenth century, a door has always been opened wide to the Lord’s recovery. To us in the church life the Lord is the One who has the key of David: He opens and no one can shut, and He shuts and no one can open.
Yes, the organized Christianity may persecute us and do their best to shut the door, but the Lord opens the door even wider.
There is much opposition to us not only as believers but as saints in the church life, but the door is open worldwide – all over the world there are so many seeking ones who love the truths in the ministry and want to enjoy the Lord with those who call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart.
The key is not in the hands of anyone in the world or in organized Christianity – the key is the hands of the Head of the church; no matter how much the opposers will work and speak, the doors are increasingly open to the Lord’s recovery.
The enemy may raise up a turmoil in Europe or in the Far East, but the Lord keeps the door open to His recovery, and today there are more lampstands than ever, for the church life spreads all over the earth.
This is not the work of a man nor is it the zeal of some but it is the Head, Christ, the One who has the Key of David and has given the recovered church an opened door which no one can shut! Praise the Lord!
We are humbly grateful to the Lord for this open door, and there’s nothing we can take credit for or be proud of in this respect; it is the Lord who keeps the door open to the recovered church, and He wants the high truths in the Lord’s recovery to spread all over the earth and feed His seeking ones, no matter what denomination they are.
The Brethren, when they started, were so small and local, but the Lord opened a door for them, and the truths they wrote of made their way to every corner of the earth and in all languages for all the Lord’s seekers to be fed.
Praise the Lord, today the Lord has the key of David and He keeps the door open to the recovered church, for His recovery to spread and for the church in Philadelphia to come into being in practicality in city after city and country after country!
Thank You Lord for giving the recovered church an open door which no one can shut. Thank You for opening the heavens to us and bringing us into the ministry of the age, the high peak truths of God’s economy. Thank You for opening the door to all those who are seeking ones to come and know the truth. Lord, we don’t trust in ourselves but look to You, the One who has the key of David and opens the door for the Lord’s recovery to spread all over the earth for the reality of the church in Philadelphia to come into being!
Being those who have Little Power but Keep the Lord’s Word, Doing the Best we Can
The Brethren kept the Lord’s word – and nothing else – to the uttermost, so the Lord released the light of truth and revelation, and they flowed out with many writing to expose, expound, open up, and dig deeper into the word of God.
Today we are standing on the shoulders of the dear Brethren who held the Lord’s word, and we don’t care for any tradition, doctrine, or religious practices; we care for the Lord’s word and we love His word (Matt. 15:6).
In the church life we love the Lord’s word, but what about our being in His word and digesting it in a personal and thorough way? Has our taste, appreciation, and handling of the word of God diminished or increased and deepened?
We need to not only read the word but prayerfully abide in the Lord’s word until the day dawns, until the morning star rises up in our heart.
May we not just read a chapter a day or the portion in the morning revival without touching the Lord, but may we come to the Lord in His word and abide in His presence until He shines on us and in us, rising in us as the morning star.
First, we must read the Bible; we must read the Bible with our eyes, our mind, and our spirit, knowing that the word of God is a Person, Christ Himself as the embodiment of God. Then, we must pray the word so that we may masticate, chew on, eat, and enjoy the word of God.
Then, we must study the word and take the word as a person. Finally, we must speak the word which we love. We need to treat the Scripture of God as the face of God and thus melt in His presence.
We need to come to God’s word by coming to God’s face and being in His presence. We must handle the word of God in His presence and not apart from it. May we not divorce the word of God from the person of Jesus Christ and thus be divided and fight with other believers based on doctrines, as the Brethren ended up doing.
May we be faithful to the Lord in His word with the little power we have that we may prayerfully read the Word and the ministry in the Lord’s presence, before His face, so that they would be our possession and constitution.
Just like the church in Philadelphia, we in the church life need to keep the Lord’s word with the little power we have (Rev. 3:8). Many believers regard the church in Philadelphia as being strong, powerful, and prevailing, but the Lord said to her that she had little power.
In the Lord’s recovery, we are not those who are powerful but the weak ones, those who love the Lord and keep His commandments by being in His word before His face.
We are simply learning to keep the Lord’s word by being in His presence; we pray-read the word of God, abide in the Lord by letting His word dwell in us richly, and we speak only the word of God.
What pleases the Lord is not that we would be strong and zealous for Him, that we use our little power to do the best we can. This is what He wants from us, that we do the best we can with the little power we have.
Lord Jesus, we admit that we are not strong but rather we have a little power, but we want to keep Your word and do the best we can with the little power we have. We love You, Lord, we love the brothers, and we love Your word. Keep us abiding in You by allowing Your word to dwell in us richly. Lord, may we never divorce Your word from Your person, Your presence. Keep us coming to You as we read Your word, and keep us in Your presence so that we may have the morning star rising in our heart! Lord Jesus, we love You and we want to do the best we can with the little power we have!
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, The Conclusion of the New Testament, pp. 4203-4204, 2525-2526 (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:
# Hallelujah, Philadelphia, / Thine are works that please the Lord. / Strength thou hast, though just a little / And hast kept His living Word. / Thou His holy name denied not, / But confessed it here below— / Lo, a door is set before thee, / Through which none but thee can go. (Hymns #1275)
# Not so strong by worldly standards, / Hidden from religion’s fame; / Jesus loves you, Philadelphia, / For you’re faithful to His name. (Hymns #1276)
# Praise the Lord! Philadelphia: / They hold fast to God’s Word, / Never denying His name, / Living in the local church, / Fellowshipping universally / On the ground of genuine oneness, / Constituting the Body of Christ. (New song on being an overcomer)
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