Do I belong to Laodicea or Philadelphia (English/Luganda)
Do I belong to Laodicea or Philadelphia
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, the return of Our God, the King of kings, the Holy One of Israel, Jesus Christ, is drawing closer. Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 about rather difficult things, like shakings, rumors of war, persecution, lawlessness and earthquakes as signs of His Coming. We see all these signs today. East and West turning against each other once again. We have much more natural disasters now if you compare with when I was a child in the 80-ies. But Jesus says: fear not! These things must happen.
And the sign of His Coming that Jesus speaks most of in Matthew 24 is spiritual deception, false prophets, false apostles, and we see them today everywhere, in Sweden, in USA, on television, and I believe they are also here in Africa. Every sign that Jesus speaks about in Mathew 24 is today a reality. Jesus Christ is not too far away now.
In the book of Revelations there are letters to some churches, and I believe that two letters are especially important for us. I will preach about Philadelphia and Laodicea.
I Read a part to Laodicea: because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
Some people may think: Jesus, You are too hard! It’s not love! But they forget that Jesus is a God of love, but He is also a righteous judge. Jesus searches the heart, to know what’s in there. And if I am on the wrong way, and Jesus says: Konrad! Stop! Turn back to Me, or you will be lost, then that’s love! But if Jesus says: “Konrad is about to be lost for Eternity, but never mind, I won’t tell him”, then that’s NOT love! Jesus speaks the truth in love and out of love for this church, because He wants them in Heaven!
Many Bible teachers say that the letter to Laodicea is a picture of the church of the last days, before Jesus comes back. Laodieca said they had won everything, they were rich, successful and lacked nothing.
But Jesus wept over that church. Jesus said: you are lukewarm. You don’t see that you are blind, naked, wretched and poor. Things are often not the same in the Eyes of Jesus as in our eyes.
And the church in Sweden today is very much like this. It has become lukewarm. Oh, how I am sad for my beloved brothers in Christ Jesus in Sweden. So many today are drawn away into false gospels. They say: we have revival! We have success! We lack nothing. They don’t see that it’s another Christ, another gospel. They don’t see the influences from new age and Buddhism. I weep, because I love my brothers, but they don’t want to listen if I speak to them.
It’s like Laodieca. They believe that Jesus is being praised and worshiped, but Jesus is not there, Jesus is standing outside the door, knocking. I don’t judge them, but I weep over them. I want to help them because I love them, but very few want to listen. I will give you a testimony.
There was a big spiritual event in Stockholm 2016 where thousands of Christians gathered in a football stadium. There was one Swedish preacher and some famous American preachers. I have been given the gift of discernment of spirits, so when I heard about it I felt something was wrong. My mother has the same gift and she felt the same way and she came by my house and she said: Konrad, have you heard what some of these preachers have been involved in? I said no, it can’t be true! She said: check it yourself on the Internet. I checked it and I found that it was true.
Then a brother in southern Sweden, who I know hears the voice of Jesus, received a Word from the Holy Spirit to record a strong warning message about the event and post it on his website. As I listened I felt: this is the Holy Spirit speaking through Him. He said: I feel the Holy Spirit saying: don’t go there, because you may receive another spirit.
I heard it and at this point I was really upset and I tried to warn some people who were going there but they didn’t listen. I told them what my mother showed me, but they said “fake news”. They didn’t spend one minute to check out if what I said was true. And I thought of the words of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 about the falling away before Jesus comes back. Because they did not receive the love for the truth!
(To love the truth is first of all to love Jesus and the Word, but it is also to stick to facts, to check up what is really true or false, to hold on to reality, not to wishful thinking. This is a strong pattern in the Western World today, not only Sweden and not only the society, also in the church. We don’t love the truth. We don’t seek it, we don’t think it’s important any longer if something is true or not. Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2 verse 10: They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.)
David Wilkerson, a great American preacher, spoke in a sermon about churches where the Name of Jesus Christ is praised and worshiped, but Jesus Himself is walking around as a complete stranger, Jesus is outside the door, knocking and wants to come in. That’s the Laodicea church, and that’s exactly this event. The Name of Jesus was lifted up, but Jesus Himself was not there. It was another spirit.
The summer before this event I made friends with a sister in Christ. Once she said: Konrad, you and I have such a close spiritual connection! I stopped for a second and felt: yes, it’s true, we have such a close fellowship in the Spirit.
Then we didn’t see each other for a few months and all of a sudden I ran into her at a service. I gave her a hug, we started to talk and I felt immediately: what has happened? There is a wall between us! I can’t reach her! Have I insulted her in any way? What’s wrong? I didn’t understand. Then we agreed to have lunch the following week and during the lunch she told me that she had been at the event in Stockholm and how wonderful it was. I recalled what the Spirit had spoken about in the warning message, and I realised: it happened to her! She got another spirit! I didn’t tell her that but I tried to tell her what I thought of the event, but she wouldn’t listen. Today our fellowship is gone. I still love her, I miss her as my friend, and I am 100% sure that Jesus still loves her. But something happened to her spiritually at the event.
When the event was over the Lord spoke to my mother in prayer. He said: follow Me, not the crowd.
Jesus was never looking for a crowd, Jesus was looking for hearts that really wanted Him, that truly loved Him, willing to sacrifice even their own lives. Why? Because everyone who is about to be married wants to know if the other part will be faithful, if his/her love is true. And Jesus wants to be married to you forever, He wants to find out if you truly love Him before you enter the Wedding supper of the Lamb? The crowd is easy to lead in the wrong direction with signs and wonders, so those who follow the crowd might go the wrong way, but those who follow Jesus will never go the wrong way.
I tell you all today, with a heart filled with the love of Jesus Christ, and with a heart that loves my brothers; not everything that comes under the Name of Jesus Christ today is really Jesus, and not everything that is called works by the Holy Spirit, is The Holy Spirit.
(A) before Jesus comes we need discernment, the ability to feel: is this really Jesus or not?
But there is also another letter, and I believe that it’s to the other part of the church before Jesus comes, and it’s Philadelphia.
Jesus says: 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.
Once again Jesus sees something else than the church does. This church was small and weak, but Jesus gives only praise, love and comfort to this church. It’s like Jesus does not see what we see. To Smyrna Jesus said: I know your suffering and your poverty, but you are rich!
The church of Philadelphia is pure in the Eyes of the Lord. It has a love for Jesus, a devotion for the Lord. It wants Jesus and nothing else, no other gospel, not another Jesus. It loves Jesus, and Jesus is also in love with this church.
The church of Philadelphia is also existing in Sweden today. It’s small, weak, scattered, oftentimes mocked for being weak, backwards and out of date. But this church is victorious in it’s weakness, because strength is made perfect in weakness! Our strength is often a hindrance for God, but not our weakness, because then Jesus can come with His strength, and there is no lack of strength with Jesus Christ. And when we are weak and Jesus can come with His strength and give us the victory, Jesus gets all the glory! Amen.
This church also wins through faithfulness. You have not denied My Name and you have kept My Word. To be faithful is very, very precious in the Eyes of Jesus Christ. But there is forgiveness for being unfaithful, when we truly repent. Don’t you ever believe the lie of the Devil: Jesus will never forgive you! You can never turn back! It’s a lie! It’s a lie! Until Jesus is back to earth there is always a door open for repentance. Peter was the rock, and he denied Jesus three times. But he turned back, Jesus forgave him and gave him everything back.
(When you fail, don’t forget the heart of Jesus. I believe that Jesus would have forgiven also Judas if he had repented. And also the church of laodicea is given the opportunity to repent! Jesus doesn’t judge His own church, He speaks the truth in love to make us turn back. Yes, when Jesus speaks the truth it can hurt, yes, but truth will set us free, so if we turn back Jesus will embrace us with open Arms, kiss us and say: welcome back, My beloved child. And Jesus will heal your wound and give you back your first love.)
And Jesus says: you have kept My Word. When we are faithful to His Word, we are faithful to Jesus, and He will preserve us.
(It doesn’t say: you have kept My miracles! Jesus does many miracles, but Jesus came so that we should believe in His Word. So many in Sweden today come primarily for emotional experiences, to see miracles, and so few come to hear His Word. Yes, Jesus does miracles and has done many in my life, but I believe in His Word.)
And Jesus gives victory to His insignificant servants, to the humble. Jesus said He would make some false Jews to come and fall down for their feet and worship. Imagine what a victory for this church! What an honor from Jesus! Why? So they know that I have loved you. Jesus gives victory, strength and honor to the weak, small and insignificant. Don’t forget that!
(An old time Swedish preacher called Frank Mangs has said: when Jesus gives you the victory, don’t forget to fall down for His Feet and thank Him, give Him the glory! Success in ministry can be dangerous if we don’t remember to thank Him, to listen to His voice, to slow down and wait for the Lord. In success it’s so easy to start running before the Lord. We need to walk two steps behind and listen to His leading, to His voice, His Spirit. So in success, don’t forget to be still, don’t rush.)
And to Philadelphia Jesus says: I will keep you. What a marvelous promise. The Son of God says: I will keep you. God gives grace to the humble. If you are small Jesus can hold you in His Almighty Hands and there is no place in the universe that is more secure than that place! If you are small enough to be in His Hand, He will fight for you, He will preserve you! God is Almighty!
Jesus is Coming soon, and He says that we shall watch so that no one can steal our crown of victory from us. There will be false prophets, false teachers, false gospels. The Devil does everything in his power to rob us of our victory. We need to walk really close to Jesus, to spend time in His Word and to pray to preserve the victory, given to us by grace.
There is a reward in Heaven, what the eye has not seen, the ear has not heard, what God has prepared for those who love Him. We call it Heaven. It’s something so great we can’t even begin to understand it. But if there is a reward and a victory there is also a battle and a price to be paid.
(Followers of Christ around the world pay with their lives for the Name of Jesus Christ and Heaven. Jesus speaks about persecution in Mathew 24. I don’t know what awaits in Africa, but in Sweden hard times are ahead. We must be prepared to give everything in order to reach Heaven.)
And it’s worth it. Think about what awaits in Heaven, and you will realise that it’s worth it. Look at the reward, look at Heaven, not on the suffering here on earth. So now the question is: am I in the church of Laodicea or Philadelphia? We need to sit down at the Feet of Jesus and us Him to make us see. If we belong to Philadelphia, this is what Jesus Himself says to that church:
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. Amen.