Revelation 3:8 “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door,”
God saw the works of the tribulation saints, that they’re really working well. Because of that, He gave them an open door to enter inside David’s house, to be part of the ruling of the nation of Israel.
“and no man can shut it:”
When God sets before them an open door, no man can shut it. No one has the power to shut it.
“for thou hast a little strength,”
Notice this little strength is enough.
“and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
If you don’t deny Jesus’s name, you keep His word, you may feel down about the little strength but you’d be surprised how much that little strength can carry you throughout the day.
Have you ever felt like that throughout your day? You’re like “God, I need more grace, I need more strength. Help me out with this problem” and you feel like you’re so weak but Paul mentioned “for when I am weak, then I am strong.” See, that little strength can carry you so far.
The spiritual application here is that like a Christian has just enough strength that he needs here, that can carry him through. When God opens a door for you, the devil can’t close it.
It’s important to understand to not be in fearful mode every day of your life, that when God closes a door on you, you believe that it is your mistake, your fault. You got to understand that it can’t be helped if God closed it, there’s nothing you can do about it. But when God closes one door, He opens another. And when He opens the other door, no man can shut it.
But it’s so sad how many Christians keep looking at closed doors rather than open doors.
In the day of Philadelphia, this can definitely apply.
Here’s the timeline for Philadelphia. It can be 1700 to 1900 based on Larkin’s timetable. Dr Ruckman puts this at 1500 to 1900.
The reason why Larkin puts 1700 to 1900 is that that’s when the first Great Awakening Revival happened. Not only that, that’s when the earliest type of Christian missionaries, after the Roman Catholic church era, was available that time. It was a Moravian missionary during the 1700s. It was a perfect time for a revival. Remember, Philadelphia had open doors and no man can shut it. So they were finding open doors everywhere, spreading the gospel and no man can shut it. That’s why Larkin put 1700 to 1900. 1900 is accurate because that’s when everything went downhill and we can all agree with that. Look at the 20th century, it’s just dead. We have to use entertainment to build a ministry rather than God the Holy Spirit opening the door and flooding it in right there. So this was a time of Great Awakening revival.
Dr. Ruckman puts it at 1500 to 1900, because during that time, that’s when the mainstream type of Protestant Christianity and Baptist officially started with Martin Luther’s time period. It was during that time when it finally broke off from the Roman Catholic church system and that some kind of evangelical or Christian tradition form finally came out. Even though Sardis was considered to be a dead timeline because Luther and all the other guys were infested with Calvinism. Because of that, they did nothing but sit at home. So it was pretty dead at that time. But the date was also understandable from Ruckman’s point of view because despite them being dead in evangelism, it was growing. Not only that, that’s when the King James Bible eventually came out and when that King James Bible came out, it grew quickly with John Bunyan and a lot of other people starting it.
Philadelphia is a golden age timeline.
Here are a few stories about the Great Awakening revivals
There was a preacher who was preaching hard against liquor at that time and one of these people took out a gun and was going to drive by and shoot the preacher. His buddy was shouting “Shoot the preacher!” but when he tried to shoot him, he couldn’t shoot the preacher. He just froze and the car kept driving by. The guy then jumped out of the car, threw out his gun, and walked back to the camp meeting, he gave a testimony that he was about to kill the preacher but he repented, got right, and got saved.
One time, there was a person who was behind George Whitefield with a gun and he said “I’m going to shoot you!.” Whitefield challenged him like if he’s man enough to shoot but since his voice boomed a mile long, he just preached really hard. The guy holding the gun said “I’m going to shoot it” but then before he can do it, the gun blew upon his hand and the guy injured himself.
Mordecai Ham was infamous for closing down the bars. A lot of liquor merchants hated him and threatened his life. They threatened to kidnap his boy and even tied him at the end of a vehicle and he was dragged along a little bit on the road. But Mordecai Ham preached hard and one time this person had an alcohol bottle and he pointed a gun at Mordecai Ham saying “I’m going to shoot you.” Mordecai Ham ran toward that guy who was pointing the gun at him, he jumped off the podium, marched toward that guy and he was singing “Tell mother I’ll be there”, that was the hymn he was singing. The guy was going back and getting more scared. Finally, the fear of God fell upon him that he said “I repent!”, then he threw away his gun and his deck of cards, he went on the altar, got right with God, and got saved.
D. L. Moody was the king of revival preaching. He was preaching and the liberal news reporter just wanted to catch him on something. Some of these scholars wanted to catch him and they went to Moody and said “Mr Moody, I counted about a hundred something grammatical errors in your preaching” and you know what Moody did? He stuck out his tongue at the reporter and said “I’m using my tongue for the glory of God. What are you using yours for?”.
That was when God the Holy Spirit was powerfully moving within them. You guys don’t know real Christianity, you guys lost that fire at Laodicea which we’re in today.
Billy Sunday was the last revival during that time. He was known as the sawdust trail preacher. He would literally slide across the bases when he preaches. He’ll run around the room, he’ll break chairs.
When Billy Sunday got saved, do you know what he was doing? There was a bunch of people street preaching and singing hymns outside, Billy Sunday was walking over to that group while his friends were laughing at him. Drinking baseball star forsook that because of hymn singing at street preaching. He got saved at that mission.
That mission was founded by another person who was a drunk, Mel Trotter. Mel Trotter would constantly drink himself to death and he was going to lose his family, children, and everything. One time he walked by this rescue mission and a guy was out in the cold passing out tracts, trying to invite people to church. This guy invited Mel Trotter and he got saved. Mel Trotter started his own rescue mission and that’s where the baseball star, Billy Sunday, got over there and got saved.