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Conclusion on the Seven Churches

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Last month we ended our study at the church of Philadelphia. I have a few more things to say about the at Philadelphia, so let’s begin with verse 10:

 

Revelation 3:10   Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also “keep” (tereo: preserve you) you from (during) the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

 

Revelation 3:11   I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one can take your crown.  

 

Revelation 3:12   Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will write on him my new name.

 

Revelation 3:13   He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

The church at Philadelphia, like the church at Smyrna, was suffering persecution from the Romans. In addition to this grievous problem, the church was embroiled in a bitter conflict between Jewish converts and Gentile converts. This conflict is called “the synagogue of Satan” conflict and this controversy also affected the church at Smyrna.

 

In a nutshell, Jewish converts to Christianity insisted that Gentile converts must be circumcised; observe the feast days and other Levitical laws if they were to be children of Abraham and heirs of the promise given to Abraham. Remember, this is A.D. 95 and Christianity was struggling with its Jewish roots and baggage. One of the reasons that God scattered the Christians from Jerusalem in A.D. 70 was to prevent Christianity from becoming Jewish!

 

This is why Jesus said:

 

“I will make those who (boast about their Jewish heritage, but)are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars – I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you (instead of them).”

 

Wow! As far as far as the King of the Jews is concerned, calling yourself a Jew does not make you a Jew! God hates self-righteous and self-importance.

 

I need to be perfectly clear on this subject. Self-righteousness and self-importance is a common human characteristic. It is a powerful component in our selfish fallen nature. Some people have a capacity for more self-righteousness and self-importance than others. Some people are just full of it!

Self-righteousness and self-importance is that part of the curse of sin that God hates the most – because a self-righteous sinner magnifies his self-importance to the place that he takes the place of God.

 

A self-important and self-righteous person likes to give orders. He likes to be the boss; he likes to be up front and out front. He seeks and wants attention and adulation. As a matter of fact, a pompous self-righteous sinner is a perfect reflection of Lucifer. The devil became so pompous and “right” in his own thinking that God became inferior.

 

Bad news: Self-righteousness is an inseparable component of religion because self-centeredness is the core of our carnal hearts. Every person and every religion on Earth has a problem with self-righteousness. 

 

Proof: No religion will admit that another religion knows more about God than itself. Self-righteousness is an attitude of superiority….

 

I know most

I know best

I am better off than…

 

And the clergy, those of us who preach or teach are cursed with a double portion of self-righteousness. Here’s why: It is a contradiction in terms for a person be a seeker of truth and at the same time, a defender of the faith.   

 

On the other hand, it is possible for a person to have the humility of a child. Jesus said:



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