1. What is the  “word” to which Lord Jesus referred?

Lord Jesus continued His letter to the Church of Philadelphia with these words:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (Revelation 3: 10).

Logos is the word used for patience in the text.  Here are a few of the ways in which logos   was used in the New Testament scriptures:

A. The Lord’s “sayings” or doctrine which are to be kept – Mt 7: 24, 26 & 28

  • the word of the Kingdom – Mt 13: 9
  • the preached word /ministry of the word /word of God – Mt 13: 20 – 23; Mark 2: 2; Acts 6: 2 & 4; Acts 13: 44
  • Jesus spoke the “logos” with power – signs and wonders – Lk 4: 32
  • the preached word/logos is confirmed with signs and wonders – Mk 16: 20
  • all of the words of the Lord – Mt 24: 35
  • teachings of the Lord that He spoke in parables – Mark 4: 33
  • the word of everlasting life – Jn 5: 24

B. the rebuke of the Lord as in the example in which the disciples reported that the Pharisees had become offended when they heard “this saying” – Mt 15:12

C. the Lord’s response to a petition – Mt 15: 23

D. the word which Jesus spoke to cast out devils – Mt 8: 16

E. Personal instruction from the Lord as in the case of the rich young ruler who went away sorrowful when he heard the Lord’s “saying” – Mt 19: 22

F. A question or “thing” asked by the Lord – Mt 21: 24

G. The word spoken by prophets and apostles (e.g. Isaiah the prophet; Apostle Peter; Revelation given by Apostle John ) – Lk 3: 4; Jn 12: 38; Acts 5: 5; Acts 15: 15; Rev 1: 3

H. The prophetic word spoken by Archangel Gabriel to Zechariah and Mary- Lk 1: 20 & 29

I. God is the Word in the beginning – Jn 1: 1

J. The word of God revealed through the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge – 1 Cor 12: 8

We can therefore infer from the scriptures that the Word of the Lord kept by the church of Philadelphia referred to the doctrine of the Lord, Word of the Lord spoken by the prophets and apostles over them and  the rebuke of the Lord

2. What is the “word of my patience”?

Hypomonē, the Greek word used for patience, refers:

  • paatience in well doing – Rom 2: 7
  • enduring suffering – 2 Cor 1: 6; James 5: 11
  • patience which is the fruit of suffering and hope – James 1: 3
  • patience through the transformation of the Holy Spirit – 2 Pet 1: 6

The root word for patience comes  hypomenō which means:

  • enduring in spite of the hatred  of enemies of the faith – Mt 10 :22; Mt 24: 13
  • enduring all things – 1 Cor 13: 7; 2 Tim 2: 10
  • enduring affliction/suffering – Heb 10: 32; James 5: 11; 1 Pet 2: 20
  • enduring the cross – Heb 12: 2
  • enduring the chastening or correction of the Lord – Heb 12: 7
  • patience in tribulation – Rom 12: 12
  • suffering for the Lord – 2 Tim 2: 10

3. Putting it together

In order to fully appreciate what the Lord had said to His church, we need to remember that the context and era in which they lived was one in which the church was persecuted to the death for the gospel. The church of Philadelphia had remained faithful to the Word of the Lord in spite of suffering. They had suffered for His name and had patiently endured.  They had not only endured patiently, but had also become filled with the fruit of patience. They were a worshipping church that did not retaliate against their enemies.  Knowing this, the Lord would cause their enemies to fall down at their feet and acknowledge that Christ was in them.

Can the Lord say that we have kept the word of His patience?

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