by Wade E Taylor
“Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?” Revelation 3:17
Those within this church are satisfied and content with their present spiritual condition. They do not realize that the Lord’s active involvement in their lives is not a present ongoing experience, as their trust is in all that they possess (rich and increased with goods). This applies, not only to material prosperity, but also to the wealth of spiritual material that is available to us today.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
The Lord is present, knocking on the door of their spirit, seeking a response. He is looking for those who are noticing that “something” is missing, and are seeking an answer.
There are present day Christians who, as these, live within “the Church at Laodicea.” They have received much from the Lord and think themselves to be rich, as they are satisfied with being clothed with the garment of salvation.
“And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14
However, they are still a spiritual baby (blind and naked), as they do not have a Bridal garment.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:7-8 NAS
Therefore, the Lord called them “lukewarm,” and admonished them severely.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16
Then, in love, He showed them what they should do.
“I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:18-19
Jesus is seen as standing outside of the “door” that will lead into an active spiritual relationship with Him.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
He is knocking in order to attract their (our) attention (if anyone hears), that He might offer Himself to come and fellowship with us.
If we compare the Church at Philadelphia with the Laodicean Church, we may discover that our spiritual experience does not relate to those in Philadelphia, but rather to those in Laodicea. Also, we will begin to understand how much is available to us, and how much we are missing.
“And to the Angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens. I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.” Revelation 3:7-8
Those within the Church at Philadelphia have before them an open door. In Laodicea, the door is shut. In Philadelphia, the approbation of God rests upon them and the Lord is causing even their enemy’s to be at peace with them. In Laodicea, they are being chastened.
The word “Philadelphia” means brotherly love, but here it is more than that. It speaks of an active shared expression of love, “I will sup with you, and you with Me.” This level of relationship is both recognized, and room made for its operation within the “overcoming church,” which is the one that will be caught up to the Throne.
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God, and to His throne.” Revelation 12:5
The “open door” that the Lord has placed before this overcoming Church speaks of a readily available place of entrance into the realm of the Spirit. It speaks of an ability to enter into the Lord’s presence in such a way that He is unhindered in becoming active in our midst, to accomplish His purpose, or to answer the petition that we have placed before Him.
These have learned how to use the “Key of David,” which unlocks the door into the very presence of the Lord. This open door means that we can easily move into the realm of the Spirit, or, that the Lord can easily move into our circumstances.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” Revelation 4:1-2
We are privileged to be living in the time of the “Parousia” of our Lord. This speaks of the literal coming of the Lord, which is preceded by His “manifest presence,” which is available to us as never before. He indeed is at the door, knocking.
May we become quiet long enough to hear His gentle knock upon the door of our spirit, and then respond.
That which functions in Laodicea, or in Philadelphia, are two very real environments that can be found within the Churches of our day.
May each of us be found to be in attendance at the right one.