I do not know how you feel, but today there is one thing that makes me very happy: God did not cause me to be born during the age of Thyatira, a period of almost 1,400 years. God also did not cause me to be born in the age of Sardis. We are born in this age, the age of Philadelphia, which has existed just over a hundred years. The Lord put us in the age of Philadelphia that we may be Philadelphia. Today there are many overcomers in Laodicea, but they are but overcomers in Laodicea. In the entire history of the church, there has not been an opportunity that is better than ours.
“He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall by no means go out anymore” (Rev. 3:12). We must pay attention to the word “anymore,” which means to have gone out at least once. Among the brothers, eight out of ten have gone out before. The Lord’s promise here is, I feel, very wonderful. If a pillar in the temple of God goes out again, the temple will collapse. The following three names are special: “The name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem,…and My new name.” What is the meaning of a name? There is great meaning in a name. The name of God represents the glory of God. Besides Philadelphia, no other church has received the glory of God. The name of the city of God is New Jerusalem. In other words, Philadelphia accomplishes the plan of God. “My new name.” When the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven, He received a new name, a name that is above all names (Phil. 2:9-11). Here the Lord reveals that of all the churches, He especially fixes His eyes on Philadelphia. Today we thank God; we were born in an age in which we can be Philadelphia. Although we were born in an age in which the condition of the church is exceedingly confusing, thank God, we can be those of Philadelphia.
Finally, please remember that the Lord speaks the same words seven times to the seven churches: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 3:22). We have to pay attention to this word. The Lord’s eyes are not only upon these seven churches; His eyes are also upon all the churches in the whole world, past and present, here and abroad. What the Lord says, He says to all the churches. The slackening condition found in the time of Ephesus is quite likely to occur in today’s Philadelphia. Although the time of Smyrna has passed away, it is quite possible that it may occur again today. It is often possible for the condition of every church to occur in one church. The church is not that simple. Those special conditions are but the main conditions within a certain period of time. It is possible that all the conditions may occur in the seven churches at the same time.
The Lord says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Two people were walking on the street, and one said, “Just a moment, I hear the sound of crickets.” His friend replied, “You are crazy; the cars in the street are making so much noise, we can hardly hear ourselves talking! How can you still hear the sound of crickets?” But he ran to the wall at the side of the street and told his friend to stand and listen. Sure enough, there was a cricket. His friend asked him how he could have possibly heard it. He replied, “Bankers can only hear the sound of money, and musicians can only hear the sound of music. I am an entomologist; my ear can hear the sound of insects.” The Lord tells us that he who has an ear and can hear the Lord’s word, let him hear. There are many who do not have ears and cannot hear the Lord’s word. If we have an ear, we must hear. Pray that God will grant us to walk in a straight way. In any situation, no matter what happens, we must choose the way of Philadelphia.