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  • Rand Swift


Spiritual Warfare: Seven Deep Examinations Of The Heart

Test #6 Philadelphia – The Test of Success

We have been saying in this last series of posts that The Book of Revelation is a book unmasking the true nature of our world, which happens to be a world that is completely interactive with the spirit dimension.

The truth of the matter is, our world and what takes place in it is entirely formed as a first principle by forces that are invisible to us. These forces, or as I refer to them, these animating energies, are what the ancient writings know to be spirit animations or influences.

Among these there are good and there are evil. Humankind is a key player in all of this interaction as God has given humanity dominion here and a representative authority far greater than animals and even nature.

But that dominion has a catch as what mankind expresses out from within him or her is a product of whatever spiritual influences we are trusting and listening to at the axis point of our inner person.

The inner becomes the outer. This applies to each one of us as individuals, but it also applies to us in group format as well, including entire nations and the whole earth.

Ultimately, as goes the heart of man, so goes the earth. If you consider the days of Noah and the events that occurred in that time you realize this has very large implications as we are instructed that the imagination of man was fixated on only trouble (evil) all day and all night long, day after day, week after week (see Genesis 6:5).

So, as Jesus is examining his 'ekklesia' (church) prior to the epic battle that is being portrayed in The Book of Revelation, it becomes imperative that adjustments are made within the hearts of those who are called to bring to the earth a global exorcism of evil.

Now we come to the next examination of heart, focussing on his people in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia The Test of Success

There are two among the ‘ekklesia’ of Jesus that receive no rebuke from him.

Smyrna is one and Philadelphia is the other.

Smyrna is the heart that is right now undergoing testing and it may be severe testing and the Lord has no rebuke for those in the middle of great trouble for he is standing with them, only remember the throne of grace is open so you can find mercy and grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).

During these times it's much like we have an open book test and Jesus is there with all the answers if we will see through the onslaught, the noise and confusion to the throne of his absolute triumph.

In the middle of the fire, he is not there to condemn you.

Philadelphia is the other ‘ekklesia’ to whom there is no rebuke for an error in heart, but there is given some very important positive instruction. Though it may not appear so, Philadelphia is at a critical point of juncture in their experience. Why is that you ask? This is because they seem to have progressed to a point where an amazing door of success has been opened to them.

These things are being spoken by he that is completely set apart for sacred purpose, he that is true and accurate, he that has the key of David, he that opens and no man shuts and shuts and no man opens. I know the things you have made your business and to what you have applied your energies, now look carefully and see, I have set before you an open passageway, a door and portal...(Revelation 3:7-8).

You may have noticed as we went through the previous ‘ekklesia’ examinations that there is a progressive nature to them as if each one led to the next one.

At each stop along the way there is an incredible lesson to be learned that becomes a stepping stone to a higher level of experience in faith. In His kindness, the Father does not allow us to pass beyond any certain stage without a passing score on the test because that is not in your best interest or of the eternal purpose we all are participating in.

My son do not refuse the correction of the LORD, or become weary, distressed or discouraged at His coaching, because it is who the LORD loves that He examines and brings sound reason to, like a father does to a highly favored son he most deeply cares for (Proverbs 3:11-12).

But now Philadelphia faces a brand new challenge as a heavenly portal of favor opens up over them. In my own experience I can honestly tell you that your breakthrough, when suddenly things seem to accelerate and you have begun to reach a certain pinnacle and the rough road starts to feel smooth, that you have entered into a place maybe more dangerous than any of the others.

This is the place, where in the sudden exhilaration of success you must continue to press forward, and never stop to admire what's been done until everything you were sent on your mission to accomplish has been fully completed.

This was the mistake that cropped up in the hearts of the children of Israel as they were sent to possess the Land of God's Promise. In doing so they had reached a point of success, but their success became their stumbling block and they settled into the benefits of what they had already possessed instead of continuing to prosecute the war until all the land had been completely cleared of enemies, and the greatest prize to them of all had finally been taken, that prize being the city of Jerusalem.

Deuteronomy 6, 7 and 8 are all about the possession of the Land of God's Promise. But we find the Lord addressing the danger of success in chapter 8;

You must consider this in your heart, that just as a man chastens (coaches and trains) his son, so also does the LORD your God chasten (coach and train) you. Because of this, you must keep (guard, treasure, watch over) the charge of the LORD your God to continue proceeding in His ways and to fear Him, being overwhelmed with His awe, not finding yourself to be outside of Him.

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks and water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills. A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity and you will not lack anything in it, a land whose stones are iron ore, and out of whose hills you can dig brass. And when you have eaten and are full, bow down and bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given to you.

Beware that you do not forget in any way the LORD your God in not keeping (guarding, treasuring, watching over) His charges, and His choosing, and His prescriptions and remedies, which have been given to your charge in your time. So that after you have eaten and are full and have built nice houses and are living in them, and your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiplies, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart is lifted up and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of your bondage,

Who led you through that great and terrible wilderness in which there were fiery serpents and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water but who (Himself) brought forth life giving water out of the Rock, Who fed you with manna in the wilderness which your fathers had never known before, that He might humble you and that He might examine you so that He might do you good in all joyful, pleasing things in the end.

And you say in your heart, 'My power and might has gotten me this wealth.'

But you will remember, bringing back again and again to your mind the LORD your God, because it is He who has given you power to get wealth, that He may lift up, carry out and give full effect to His covenant that He swore to those who went before you, your fathers and progenitors which have now been given to your charge, here in your time (Deuteronomy 8:5-18).

As the people of purpose came into the land and began possessing it they became victims of their own success.

They forgot why they were there and why they had gone through so much and now that the good times had seemed to arrive they began to lose sight of the whole vision. It seemed like a nice place to rest at least for awhile. Maybe they thought a vacation was due them and they would hit it hard again later, but that isn't what happened.

Having obtained a comfortable measure of success, they stopped prosecuting the war and what was meant to propel them forward became a snare to them.

Because of this, let the one who thinks he is now standing firm, continue to watch carefully so that he does not fall (1st Corinthians 10:12).

Pride (self satisfied arrogance) goes just ahead of destruction and a spirit of one’s own grandeur just ahead of their fall (Proverbs 16:18).

Before his crashing, the heart of man is full of his own grandeur, and before honor is humility (Proverbs 18:12).

Success is nothing but the opening of a portal.

It is a gift that has been given to you to aid you in the real task that is in front of you.

The fact that the portal has been opened is something to be grateful for because without the Opener of your divine portal you would be nothing.

Remember where you came from because had you not been rescued to begin with, you would have died there, a slave.

This explains Jesus heartfelt words of instruction to the Philadelphia hearts who are at such a precarious point as the future is ready for them to possess it;

Look carefully and see, for what is coming will happen rapidly. Hold firmly to what you have and do not let any man (nobody, no one, no thing) take away your crown of reward from you (Revelation 3:11).

Before moving on to the examination of Laodicea, let's hear one more quote from the apostle Paul;

Brothers, I do not consider myself to have attained yet, but this is what I do. Forgetting what has already been achieved and reaching forth now toward those things that are ahead,

With great zeal I fight towards that mark, that destination and goal where the prize of the highest calling of God awaits me in Christ Jesus.

Let as many of us who understand destiny have this understanding, and if by any single thing you are distracted, God will reveal it to you. Nevertheless, the place to which we have already arrived, let us continue walking by the same rule and minding the same thing (Philippians 3:13-16).

Next Topic: Test #7 Laodicea – The Test of Abundance (Mammon)

Read more about 'The Revolution Is ON!' by Rand Swift​

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