LOVE LETTERS SERIES
NUMBER SIX – THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA
BY: JACKIE CAPORASO
MESSAGE NO. 184
DAVID’S AWESOME CALLING
THE KEY OF DAVID
THE HOUR OF TRIAL
I WILL MAKE HIM A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE
THE MOST EXCELLENT REWARD
THE CITY OF GOD
MY NEW NAME
The resurrected Lord Jesus had already visited five of His established churches when He came to Philadelphia. He had found that many had left their first love in Ephesus and He encouraged Smyrna who had been sorely persecuted for their faith. He faced Pergamos and scolded them about their doctrines. Then He went to Thyatira and revealed the corruption in their midst. After that, He showed up in Sardis and sadly found them dead while they looked alive.
Now He comes to Philadelphia and His heart must have been joyful as He found a persevering church. He came to them ready to pour out great blessings to reward them.
Jesus introduced Himself to Philadelphia in this way, “These things says ‘He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens. I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie; indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” (Rev. 3:7-9)
The resurrected Lord Jesus had absolutely no rebuke for this church. Their challenge was to keep His word and not deny His name. They had been suffering at the hands of religious men who called themselves God’s chosen (Jews) but were instead of the synagogue of Satan. These were of the same spirit as those who opposed Jesus before and to whom He said, “You are of your father the devil…” (Jn. 8:44a)
Jesus reveals that Satan has a “synagogue.” A synagogue is an “assembly or congregation of Jews for the purpose of religious instruction or worship.” This means that although Satan is not “omnipresent” as God is, he is well organized into an assembly of demons that are adept at moving in the thoughts of men with the purpose of tormenting and even destroying lives. Above all, Satan is a “religious” spirit whose sole objective is to make himself God and destroy the Church of Jesus Christ. He works cunningly in religious circles.
Satan presented himself to the Christians of Philadelphia in the persons of those who said they were Jews (God’s chosen) and were not. These were bullies who worked by intimidation and left the Christians with very little strength in the face of such insurmountable odds. But the Lord was about to give them something so powerful that it would enable them to stand fearlessly in His name.
This is the situation that confronted the church at Philadelphia, and that all who come in the name of Jesus have to face as well. It is also the situation that David, the young shepherd faced when Samuel chose him and anointed him to someday become king of Israel in the place of Saul. It is the story of the Beloved Son who comes to redeem that which the enemy has stolen.
DAVID’S AWESOME CALLING
The calling of David certainly illustrates the calling of the sons of God. According to the commentaries, the name David means “Beloved,” but upon closer examination in the Strong’s Concordance Dictionary, we find that the word actually means “lover, love-token, friend.” David was a lover of “truth” and of “righteousness.” In this way, he was a “Lover of God.” God, who looks upon the heart, knew His David and prepared him for a task that only he could fulfill.
David was not here by accident and neither are we here by accident. God saw David’s heart and chose him in Christ, before the foundation of the world, to carry out a very important mission in this world. Although each and every one has a purpose in Christ, the elect (not elite) are chosen, ordained and prepared for a mission that is not revealed to every one.
God looks upon the heart. He reveals His purpose to those who have a heart to follow Him, so He chose David because he was a man after His own heart. When Paul addressed the faithful in Christ Jesus who were at Ephesus, he wrote, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…” David and the line of David were chosen of God with an awesome mission. The man David accomplished his in literal Israel. Jesus, of the line of David, opened the way for those who would fulfill God’s purpose in the spiritual realm.
As Jesus is the “Word made flesh” and expresses the Father in the earth, those who follow the Lamb are called to be His word and make known the manifold (many sided) wisdom through His many–membered body. The wisdom of this Christ body will defeat the works that the most cunning serpent has established through man in this world. We are witnessing the works of Satan falling all around us already. Hold on to your crown!
David knew that only a pure heart could keep him from stumbling and he earnestly prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” God has been doing just that in His “David Company.” He is giving them a heart that pants after God and desires to accomplish His purposes more than their own. It is such a heart that distinguishes the “David’s” from all others in God’s kingdom. Even though they have to be busy taking care of the necessities of this life for themselves and for those who depend on them, down deep in their hearts, the thing of primary importance is the kingdom of God and the vision that He gave them.
The vision has been written deep within their hearts and they secretly meditate on it day and night. It is that vision that compels them to keep their eyes upon the goal and not upon the turmoil and confusion that is taking over the world. They know that even though they are still in this world, they are in position for the time of manifestation that will deliver creation from the bondage of death and the grave.
It is only because God has planted this vision in our hearts that we will stand in the hour of trial. As I write this, I received the “Voice” that Maxine Hedlund writes and I quote, “The message of life and immortality is what inspired the first-fruits to embrace the refinement process and begin their journey towards kingdom life. Even though they did not know how to reach their destination back then, they knew they were seeking more than what was being touted by the status quo. Their “word of the Lord” couched in this message was the propelling force on their quest, even through the most trying of circumstances, for it came with an unquenchable passion to attain the message!” End of quote
The kingdom or God’s government is at work in the individual heart of a people before it can be established outwardly. The people in whom the kingdom is established are the people who will rule and reign with Him in the earth. In this way, God’s kingdom comes to earth (visible realm), as it is in heaven (invisible spirit realm).
We can look at David’ life at a glance, and get an idea of what his awesome calling was going to require of him. Perhaps, David had once hoped of becoming a prosperous shepherd like his father. He loved to be out under the stars, writing psalms and singing them to His God while making melody on his lyre. How could he foresee the demands that were about to be placed upon him? How could he have imagined that he was chosen to replace the powerful king of Israel? If he had known what he was about to face in the years ahead, David may have fainted. Instead, he took one day at a time, one event at a time, and he faced each trial fearlessly in the name of the Lord His God. Is this not the example that God has set before us as we face each day?
Obviously, this young shepherd was not aware that he was called to one day replace the king of Israel. He had no experience in governmental affairs and so drastic changes needed to take place in his life. He knew one thing for sure, His God had always been there for him when he faced the lion and the bear that came to threaten his father’s sheep, so he was not afraid.
If he had known ahead of time what he was going to face he may have trembled a little, but he would not have fainted. Paul wrote, “Therefore since we have received this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart (we faint not).” (II Cor. 4:1) It was David who later wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Ps. 23:6)
God had prepared David’s path before he ever came out of the womb. Did He spare His David? Did He make his path easier than anyone else’s? Nay! Instead, God planted him right in the middle of perilous situations. It was the heart that God had given David that protected him from harm, but God never took him out of harm’s way. Even a grain of wickedness in our hearts will trip us; this is the reason God deals so strongly with our hearts.
From his time in the sheepfold to the time that he sat on the throne, God took His David through intense training. David had to meet Goliath face–to–face. God gave him the right armor and tools to defeat the formidable giant, but David had to stand in his face proclaiming the Name of the Lord while the armies of Saul trembled in their hiding places.
Then it took years of suffering under the abuses of Saul, and even running for his life, to season David and make him fit for the throne. It was in his darkest hour that David learned to truly rely on His God and not on his own reasoning or feelings. God knew David’s heart but David did not, yet when he was tested he declared, “One thing I have desired of the Lord. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.” (Ps. 27:4)
David knew that His only security was to dwell in the presence of Lord. He knew that only truth could make him win over his enemy and he wanted to inquire in God’s temple. In those days, the temple at Jerusalem had not yet been built, but David envisioned that he would be granted to build it for God. We know, that instead, it was after he had died that his son Solomon built the splendid and glorious temple that was later destroyed and replaced by another even more beautiful. When Jesus walked this earth, He spoke of the destruction of that temple. He announced that it would be replaced by one not made with hands. Jesus Himself in earth was the most magnificent temple of God.
Today, Jesus Christ in His body is the eternal Temple of God. Paul said, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Cor. 3:16) We are the temple of God because His Spirit dwells within, therefore when we inquire of the Lord, we do not have to go to Jerusalem or even to the nearest church on the corner, we only have to find the voice of His Spirit within and hear. Oftentimes, we do not even need to inquire; we only need to listen. He speaks before the need comes up and He warns us of impending dangers before they arise.
This is the path of the elect. As it was with David, so it is with us, we have no experience in what we are being prepared to do. We are in boot camp training as His Spirit leads us each day. We are given the lessons and we are tested until we learn them well. We feel the impact of the tests in a very personal way, but we know that the result is not for our personal benefit; it is to accomplish the plan of God for His creation and bring in the rule and reign of the Christ in the earth. We may not be fully aware of our awesome mission, and if we are, we surely feel very inadequate, but it is the mission of the Christ within us!
So it is that all the years that we have spent in churches and assemblies turn out to be part of our boot camp training. It was during these years that we learned to wrestle, not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers that worked to convince us that their doctrines and their ambitions were of God. We thank our God that He gave us ears to hear His voice, and a heart to follow Him when He called us out.
At first, Saul loved David, but it was not long until Saul knew that David was a real threat to his kingdom, and he began to devise ways to kill David. This is spiritual warfare. Young David did not realize this as he kept his eyes on the Lord, but as time went by, he knew that he was not safe in Saul’s territory. I do not intent to go in details about Saul and David at this time because it would be another study, but we just want to see the similarities that are in place between David’s calling and our calling in Christ today.
It was because of the demand of the people that God had chosen Saul to be King. By the same token, because the people needed a visible leader, God allowed the church system to lead His people. But, just as Saul’s power went to his head and he became disobedient, the church system became corrupt. But from before the foundation, God had purposed and prepared a people to replace that system.
As David’s great mission was to replace Saul as king over Israel, so it is the elect’s great mission to replace the system that has led the people to worship the world instead of the true God. This is not an easy task and it must be totally moved by the Spirit, in His time and in His way.
Those who have been separated and still feel that they are not doing anything for God, have not yet caught the vision of their awesome calling in Christ and in this world.
THE KEY OF DAVID
This is a spiritual master key. It opens doors that men cannot shut and shuts doors that they cannot open again. The prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of this Key as he prophesies concerning Eliakim who is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ in His body,
“Then it shall be in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. The key of the house of David I will lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open. I will fasten him as a peg that is fastened in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house.” (Isa. 22:22-23)
This is a wonderful prophecy when we understand the types that are represented in the Spirit. The body of Christ in that day will receive His robe (body of glory) and will be given full responsibility to rule over the kingdom of God until, as Paul wrote, “…all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (I Cor. 15:28)
We are told that the key of David is to be laid upon the shoulder. The shoulder speaks of governmental responsibility. Isaiah wrote about the Son that was to come and he said, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.” (Isa. 9:6a)
This means that God was turning over His kingdom, His government, over to the Son. He was laying the entire burden and responsibility of it upon His shoulder. We know that Jesus is in that place now, “For He must reign (rule in full sovereign authority) till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” (I Cor. 15:25-26)
Jesus is in total authority over all His enemies. Death was defeated on the cross so that if anyone in Christ leaves this body, they live on the other side of the veil, but the complete victory comes when even this mortality has put on immortality and there is no more death at all. Jesus Christ finished His part with His resurrection, but now He is leading those of His body to continue the work until it is fully accomplished. For this purpose, our Lord has placed the key of David upon the shoulders of His chosen.
The One who is given the key of David assumes full responsibility of God’s government. Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. He introduced the reality of this rule of God in the hearts of men, but His body will bring it fully into manifestation in the earth.
The unique quality of this key is that it opens and no man can shut and it shuts and no man can open. Of course this works in the realm of Spirit. It opens the door to revelation so that we have His light to walk therein and not stumble. It gives us the ability to discern any enemy before it strikes, and it closes the flood of evil that constantly keeps pressing against us to invade our minds and deter our thoughts from the path that is set before us. It settles and secures our vision in God.
The promises of God to David are tremendous. “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me; it shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky.” (Ps. 89:34-37)
When Isaiah spoke of the government of the Son, he declared, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:7)
We know that these prophecies were not alluding to the actual man David and his literal throne in Jerusalem. The proof of that is obvious. We know that the seed of David is Jesus Christ and all who are in Christ.
When the angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary, he said, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)
The power of the key of David is sealed in the promises that God gave to him. God promised David an everlasting kingdom with everlasting power. God promised David eternal life, not only after the death of this body but also over the mortality of these bodies. Otherwise he would not need a throne of authority to last forever.
The key of David is the power to rule eternally in heaven and on earth. The government of the Son of God is established forever and there are no powers higher or more powerful anywhere. The key will forever open places that no man can shut and close places that no man can open. With this key, Jesus closed the realm of death and opened the realm of eternal life – no man or devil can change that.
THE HOUR OF TRIAL
“Because you have kept my command (Word) to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Rev. 3:10) Those who are taught and believe the “rapture” theory may feel secure and safe from this hour of trial that is coming to test man’s hearts by great tribulations, but the truth is that there will be no literal, physical rapture.
What Jesus told His church at Philadelphia applies today, “It is through perseverance in keeping His word that one will be kept from that hour of trial.” We need to be reminded that the word we are called to persevere in and keep is not the literal letter that kills, but the word of life that the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts daily.
Note that the Spirit says that it is those who dwell upon the earth that will be tried. As it is with all of the word spoken by the Spirit, it must be interpreted by the Spirit. Jesus walked upon the earth, yet He dwelled in the heavens. When we live by the carnal mind, we dwell in the earth, but when we put on the mind of Christ, we are seated with Him in heavenly places, far above principalities and powers.
Paul who had a clear revelation wrote that “we once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air… But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:2a, 4-6) These verses clearly show that we can be physically on earth and yet dwell in heavenly places in Christ.
I WILL MAKE HIM A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE
In her latest study Maxine Hedlund writes, “…behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it…” (Rev. 3:8A) The open door of which this message is speaking makes a way for His people – His end-time harvest – to bypass physical death and come into kingdom life by transitioning through the dispensational door that stands between the church and kingdom ages. The transition takes place as we overcome the carnal fallen life. Transcending earthly life means coming to a state where one no more fluctuates between the carnal and spiritual realms.
This is what makes us a fixed part of His living temple, the New Jerusalem. Yeshua says ‘Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.’ (Verse 12) But note: whereas former dispensations have transitioned from one age to another, such as from law to grace, this transition is different. The words, ‘He shall go no more out’ mean that this kingdom age is the final one.” End of quote
A pillar certainly speaks of immovable strength and stability. A pillar is a presence that cannot be moved. Pillar people stand solidly planted upon the foundation and do not deviate from it. They are people who never need to lean on man. They are immoveable in their God and draw their strength from their foundation, which is Christ and Christ alone.
Note that the Lord said that He would make them pillars. They were not pillars to begin with and one is not a pillar just because one is a believer, it takes walking through many fiery trials with the living word of God to be made into a “pillar.” This church was told to “Hold fast to what you have that no man take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11) Note that it was “man” who was the threat.
The Christians of Philadelphia were surrounded by those who yearned to steal and rob the word of life that the Lord had given to them. In our day, there are many who have clearly heard the word yet have turned aside from the true vision. They have allowed those who have taken the true word and distorted it into a Gospel that resembles the true, to come in and rob them from the true vision.
In this day of great communication through the internet and the media, it is easy for the deceiver to present himself with intellectually appealing theories of life. Because people are hungering and thirsting for a lifestyle of ease rather than for spiritual values, the deceiver has had a hay day writing books and using the media to manipulate people into thinking that they have the answer within their own “selves.” The one who is a pillar will not be moved by these tactics. He will remain on the foundation and hold on to the true word of life.
The only safe way to avoid being deceived is not through escape, it is by being filled with the truth so that when the lies comes one is able to discern it right away. Furthermore, it is by allowing the Spirit to purge our minds and hearts from all impurities of the flesh so that we are not tempted with the wiles of the devil. Jesus said, “…the ruler of this world is coming and he has nothing in Me.” (Jn. 14:30b) There was nothing in Jesus that the tempter could hold onto; Jesus was pure.
People today are tricked into giving their life’s savings away to those who promise them great returns. But if one is free from greed and does not look to make a quick bundle, the sharks cannot swallow him. The condition of a clean heart is the true safe place. We know that the human heart is wicked above all things, but we should also know that within us dwell a new mind and a new heart in Christ. If we call upon the Christ within and lead our lives according to His thoughts and desires, we will be safe and we will be a pillar in the temple.
The resources that are needed to maintain the life-styles that the people are accustomed to are now dwindling and becoming so expensive that they may be out of reach for many. The candidates for the presidency are looking for ways to find new resources. Sadly, this is not the solution. The solution is not in finding new resources to maintain the life-styles; the solution is to change the hearts that demand these lifestyles. Only Christ and His kingdom will bring this change.
If we hold on to our crown, keep the vision intact and persevere, we will be made pillars in the temple of our God. The danger that the Philadelphia church was facing was not that they would lose their vision but that they would become weary and give up under the continued harassment of the foe. When the enemy of our souls is unable to penetrate and shake us in our faith, he uses the only possible avenue left to him – He tries to wear us down by afflicting our bodies. The strongest weapon in the enemy’s hand is to discourage us and bring us down to a state of exhaustion and apathy. Here again the word is the same, “He that endures to the end!! Hold fast to what you have!!” The firm warning is to not get weary and give up!!
THE MOST EXCELLENT REWARD
“…and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” (Rev. 3:12b)
As always, we must get away from the literal letter of the word and find the meaning of the Spirit. A name gives the identity of a person. In the beginning, names had to do with the occupation or the place of birth. This is why people were sometimes named after their trade, “Taylor,” “Baker” or “Shoemaker.” Others were named after their ancestors, like “Johnson” or son of John.
However, the reward that the overcomer is promised is not just an appellation like “son of God,” as wonderful as that is. Adam was called a “son of God” but he was unable to hold on to the nature of that name. The key to this verse is the promise that He will not just give His name; He will write His name (His nature) upon the one who overcomes.
To better understand this, we look at Jesus. He is the only true Overcomer that we know, and He is our perfect example of the One in whom God’s name is written. God does not write His name in us by using ink and pen or tattooing needles; God transfers His nature in us by taking us through series of difficult circumstances until we choose His ways and His will above our own.
In Gethsemane, Jesus did not choose His own way. Part of Him may have yearned to stay and help the disciples that He had trained and loved. But Jesus chose to do His Father’s will. He declared, “Not my will but Thine be done,” and went to the cross. This is how God writes His name (His nature) upon our minds and hearts. We cannot accomplish this ourselves; we have to yield to His Spirit daily. In every action and decision, we must call upon His name (Christ within) to guide us, so that His nature is first and foremost in us and we become His image and likeness.
When Eve conceived, she brought forth two sons. The first was Abel and the second was Cain. We know the story that follows – Cain killed Abel and Eve was left with the son who was a murderer.
These two brothers represent the story of the Adam race: Abel a type of man moved by the spirit, Cain, a type of man moved by the soul or ego. God is a Spirit and when He first made man in His image, man was a spirit. At that point, man had dominion over all the things of the earth, but man was not yet earthy. In the garden, Adam and Eve communicated with God who is a Spirit.
Then God saw that there was no man to till the ground. Although man had dominion over the earth, man could not cultivate the earth and bring forth the fruit thereof. So God formed man out of the dust of the earth and man became a living soul. Now man was spirit and soul. He could communicate with God and also cultivate or bring out the best of the earth. It is at that point that man met up with the cunning serpent. There were many beasts in the earth but we are told that “the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord had made.” (Gen. 3:1a) God made all the beasts of the field, including the cunning (shrewd, sly, clever, deceptive) serpent. Spiritually speaking, the beasts of the field represent the many natures that are part of the earthly realm.
This is why when the Spirit speaks to us through dreams; He often uses animals to explain the nature of the voices that speak to our minds. When we see a dog, it often speaks of the faithful nature that defends “self.” When we see a cat, it may speak of the independent or even “catty” nature that we may be dealing with.
When man became a living soul, he became a visible earthly creature that could be in touch with the various natures that God had placed in the earth. The serpent was hiding in the tree of knowledge of good and evil (man’s intellect). Basically, he told Eve that she could attain to the wisdom and nature of God by means of knowledge (intellect). She did not need to be in touch with the Spirit, she only needed to use her brains!!!
It was after this took place that Eve had her first sons. Abel represents the son whose thoughts issue from the Spirit and Cain, the son who calls upon the carnal mind (tree of knowledge) to try to please God. But God was merciful and gave Eve another son – his name was Seth. Seth is a type of the Christ who would redeem the lost. “For God had appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” (Gen. 4:25) It was with Seth, who himself had a son called Enosh, that “men began to call on the name of the Lord.” (Vs.26b)
From that time on, men could again call on the nature or name of the Lord. The Cain man has only the nature of man and his intellect to draw upon, but the Enosh man could again order his life by calling upon the nature of God.
THE CITY OF GOD
There is the promise of another name… the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from My God.” Not only will the overcomer receive the nature of God but also the nature of the city of God. Jerusalem was the place of God’s government. It was the place of David’s throne. New Jerusalem is the place of ruling and reigning with Christ in heaven and in earth.
Jerusalem is the place to which the people shall come to receive the word of the Lord. The old prophet wrote, “For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:2b-3)
This is not speaking of the literal city Jerusalem. It is speaking of the Jerusalem that comes down out of the Spirit (from heaven). It is not a place where people are caught up bodily to escape the tribulations of the earth; it is a place in God that comes down out of heaven (the realm of Spirit). It is His true church with the pure word that will flow freely to change the hearts of those who only know war and violence. It is a people gathered in Him and called to be God’s government. It is the true church, His bride, married to the Christ to give her light to those in darkness.
MY NEW NAME
“And I will write upon him My new name.” (Rev. 3:12b) This is tucked in at the end of the verse showing that it is an extra bonus. It is the reward of rewards – His new Name. This is the fullness of our redemption in Christ. With this, He not only brings us back to the nature of Adam before the fall, He takes us to a much higher estate.
When we receive this reward, we are no longer in the image and likeness of mortal man Adam; we are in the image and likeness of Christ in God. This is the finished product of our redemption. We get forgiveness of sins by faith, but we receive His new name by persevering to the end and triumphing over the abuses of those who hate us.
His new name is the highest level of resurrection life. Paul explained to the saints, “There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead…” (I Cor. 15:41-42a) There are levels of resurrection, which means that not all receive the same glory. His new name or nature is the highest level of resurrection glory. The sun is the “life giver” in heaven and in earth, and so is the new nature of those who persevere and hold on to their “crown of life.”
May we be encouraged with these words.
Because of His love,
LOVE LETTER SERIES NO. SIX – MSG. No. 184 [Jackie Caporaso] 1