What He Opens No ONe Can shut

Revelation 3:7-13 ESV

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Open and Shut Doors

Our God is completely sovereign over all that he has made and nothing and no one can thwart his plans and his purposes. Nothing can touch those of us who are his, by genuine faith in Jesus Christ, unless God allows it, and he allows it for a purpose (example: the story of Job). So, what he opens no man can shut, and what he shuts no man can open. So, if the Lord opens an opportunity for ministry for us, and we are willing, as long as he wants that ministry to continue, it will. No opposition will be able to stop it.

And if this is a door the Lord has opened, it will be opposed by enemy forces, for certain. For our enemy Satan is like a roaring lion roaming around seeking whom he may devour. And our Lord will, at times, allow that enemy to come against us, and sometimes strongly, and sometimes to test our faith, too, and to strengthen us and to teach us perseverance, and to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, and so that we will share in his holiness and bear spiritual fruit in keeping with repentance.

But we are not to fear what our enemy and his servants might do to us. For if we are with God, walking in obedience to his commands, he is with us and he will carry us through every difficult circumstance. And sometimes these trials are open doors in disguise. Sometimes what we see as something to shake off and to get past is something the Lord wants us to endure, perhaps not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of other people. And this could be one of those open doors, but in disguise. So we need to be listening to God.

The Synagogue of Satan

Now, if we are walking in obedience to our Lord, not necessarily in sinless perfection, and if we are walking in purity and holiness and righteousness, to the glory and praise of God, we are going to be opposed, and some or all of that opposition may come, not from the world, but from within the church (or the institutional church) and from pastors and elders and others who profess faith in Jesus Christ. For who were Jesus’ greatest persecutors? They were many of the rulers in the temple and the teachers of the Scriptures.

And who else opposed Jesus? His brothers did. They even mocked him. And Jesus said that if we are his followers that even our family members will turn against us, and those of our own households may hate and betray us, even to death. And, again, they also may be people who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are living the opposite of what they profess. And so it may bother them if we are walking in purity of devotion to the Lord while they are still living to please the sinful pleasures of the flesh (Ex: Cain & Abel).

And who are they who are of this synagogue of Satan? They are those who profess faith in Jesus Christ with their lips but who serve Satan with their actions and behaviors. They are false brothers and sisters who make an outward showing of being followers of Jesus while secretly they are living in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord, even in some of the vilest of sins described for us in the Scriptures. They are haters of God all the while they profess to love God, but their actions speak louder than words.

Although they now oppose us, even fiercely, at times, one day the Lord will make these enemies of ours to come and bow down before our feet, and they will learn that God/Jesus loves us. And although I don’t completely understand what all that means or looks like, I believe this is saying that one day God is going to humble them, and when he does, they will admit that the Lord loved us and that he was with us, and that he did open that door for us, and he was walking with us through all our suffering.

And with regard to that hour of trial, if you read what this says in the original language, I believe that you will find that this is talking about our Lord keeping us through the hour of trial, from the interior outwards, out from within, out of the depths of the source to an intended outcome. So, it is more about preservation under trial rather than exemption from trial. The Lord will help us to stay strong and steadfast in trial and to not give in to the temptation to buckle under the pressure of the trial itself.

Hold Fast

Trials and persecutions are difficult. Satan uses them to try to get us to bail and to give up and to run away and to deny Jesus and to follow our flesh, etc. But if we are those who keep the word of the Lord and who do not deny his name, and if we are those who endure unjust suffering patiently, not only will our Lord keep us and help us to remain steadfast in trial, but one day he is going to return, and he is going to take his faithful ones to be with him for eternity. So we need to be those who hold fast to what we have.

And why do we need to hold fast? So no one may seize our crown. And this is a difficult concept for many Christians to accept, but the Scriptures teach salvation as progressive sanctification which will not be complete until Jesus Christ returns to judge and to take his faithful ones to be with him for eternity. So, in the meanwhile, we must continue in Christ and in walks of obedience to him in surrender to his will for our lives, and we must no longer walk in sin if we want to have the hope of eternal life with God.

And so we need to be those who conquer and who do not desert our Lord and go back to our vomit. We need to remain steadfast in faith until the very end if we want to inherit eternal life with God. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For many are going to hear him say on the day when he comes to judge, “Depart from me you workers of lawlessness. I never knew you.”

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Songs in the Night

An Original Work / December 18, 2013

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.

I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!

Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.

I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!

Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!

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