Home   Salvation   Revelation   Exegesis  Parables  Prophecy  Warnings+

The Philadelphia Christian

Lyn Mize

The Philadelphia Christian is the one who will be taken in the Firstfruits Rapture. I have had many questions from other Christians asking me to identify the characteristics of a Philadelphia Christian. The primary answer is that the Philadelphia Christian bears the Fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Philadelphia Christian bears this fruit because he is filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. He is filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit because he reads his Bible and allows the Word of God to be firmly implanted in his being. The Bible describes this as receiving with meekness the engrafted Word as shown in the following Scripture as necessary for saving the soul.

(James 1:21 KJV)  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

The soul is the kind of person each of us is in living our life. The Christian who bears the Fruit of the Spirit has certain traits of character. If a Christian has the following traits, then he could be described as a Philadelphia Christian:


trust·wor·thy  adj. trust·wor·thi·er, trust·wor·thi·est. Warranting trust; reliable. See Synonyms at  reliable. --trust“wor”thi·ly adv. --trust“wor”thi·ness n.

trust  n. 1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing

re·li·a·ble  adj. Capable of being relied on; dependable: a reliable assistant; a reliable car. --re·li”a·bil“i·ty or re·li“a·ble·ness n. --re·li“a·bly adv.

The Philadelphia Christian is trustworthy. This means that God and his fellow Christians can depend upon him to do that which is right. The Philadelphia Christian can be relied upon to do that which has been entrusted to him. The trustworthy person is faithful to his calling. He does not depart from his calling in times of trouble, persecution and hardship. He can be trusted in his obedience to the Word of God.

The Philadelphia Christian is trustworthy because he has entrusted his spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ. This is one of the definitions of the word believe:  

4100  pisteuo (pist-yoo'-o);

from 4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ):

KJV-- believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.  

This belief is more than simply believing in the atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is believing the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and the study and engrafting of God’s Word into the life of this person. Thus, the Philadelphia Christian is the Christian who believes, studies and applies the Word of God to his life. This is much more than simply believing in the atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.


loy·al  adj. 1. Steadfast in allegiance to one's homeland, government, or sovereign. 2. Faithful to a person, an ideal, a custom, a cause, or a duty. 3. Of, relating to, or marked by loyalty. See Synonyms at  faithful.

The Philadelphia Christian is loyal to his Sovereign God, the Word of God, and his duty as a Christian in studying the Bible and applying it to his life. The Christian who states that he is loyal to God, and never opens his service and duty manual—the Bible—is a liar. The Philadelphia Christian is steadfast in his allegiance to God. He is unwavering in his duty in spite of hardship and persecution that comes from his loyalty in teaching and abiding by the precepts in the Word of God.


help·ful  adj. Providing assistance; useful. --help“ful·ly adv.  help“ful·ness n.

The Philadelphia Christian provides assistance to those in need, and he is a useful member in society. He comes to the assistance of those who need help. He is a good worker on his job, since everything that he does is performed as if he were doing it for his Lord and Master.

The Christian who has the spiritual gift of serving excels in this trait, but all Philadelphia Christians should have this trait in varying degrees.


friend·ly  adj. friend·li·er, friend·li·est. 1. Of, relating to, or befitting a friend: friendly advice. --friend·ly adv. 1. In the manner of a friend; amicably. --friend·ly n., pl.

The Philadelphia Christian is friendly to his brethren, and even those who persecute him, speak evil of him or belittle him. This is very difficult to do, and the only means of doing this is to be filled with the Holy Spirit to the extent that agape flows through the Philadelphia Christian to those who persecute and despitefully use him. Agape is Christian love that comes from God through the Christian who is spirit-filled. The Christian who is not filled with the Holy Spirit cannot manifest agape. He may pretend to have this love, but it is not real and will be revealed to be false when tested. I have had fellow Christians feign agape towards me, until I stated something with which they disagreed, and then their true nature of malice and spitefulness was manifested. The Philadelphia Christian is able to crucify the old nature with its malice and spitefulness, and allow agape to flow through him. The Christian who is unable to control malice and spitefulness out of his old flesh nature is not manifesting self-control, which is a Fruit of the Spirit.


cour·te·ous  adj. Characterized by gracious consideration toward others. See Synonyms at  polite. [Middle English corteis, courtly, from Old French, from cort, court. See COURT.] --cour“te·ous·ly adv. --cour“te·ous·ness n.  

The Philadelphia Christian is courteous towards others. He is graciously considerate of the feelings of others. He does not fly off the handle and verbally abuse others. He does not hurt the feelings of others through his prideful and arrogant actions. He is polite and tactful in his dealings with others, and he shows good manners.  

It is the old flesh nature that gets angry simply because others disagree on doctrinal issues. All of us are in error on some doctrinal issues, so we must allow ourselves to be open and teachable. The Philadelphia Christian is very much aware that he can be in error, so he remains courteous when others are rude and impolite.

It is very difficult to disagree with some without appearing rude and offensive, as the egos of many Christians consider any disagreement as rude and offensive. These Christians will insert attitudes between the lines in written communications that may not have been intended by the writer. Any disagreement may appear as harsh and rude regardless of the words that are used.  


kind 1  adj. kind·er, kind·est. 1. Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature. 2. Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable: a kind word. 3. Humane; considerate: kind to animals. 4. Forbearing; tolerant: Our neighbor was very kind about the window we broke. 5. Generous; liberal: kind words of praise. 6. Agreeable; beneficial: a dry climate kind to asthmatics. [Middle English, natural, kind, from Old English gecynde, natural. See gen…- below.]

The Philadelphia Christian is generous, warm-hearted, charitable, and has legitimate sympathy or understanding for the feelings of others. He is tolerant and patient in the face of provocation from others. He is not easily provoked. He is humane and considerate towards animals. He is generous and liberal in sharing his possessions with others. He really cares about other people and animals.  


o·be·di·ent adj. Dutifully complying with the commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority. [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin oboedi¶ns, oboedient-, present participle of oboedºre, to obey. See OBEY.] --o·be“di·ent·ly adv.


SYNONYMS: obedient, biddable, compliant, acquiescent, submissive, docile, amenable, tractable. These adjectives mean carrying or willing to carry out the orders, requests, or wishes of another. Obedient implies acceptance of and submission to authority: an obedient pupil; an obedient soldier. “The obedient colonies in this scheme are heavily taxed; the refractory remain unburdened” (Edmund Burke). One who is biddable follows directions or obeys commands: “A more gentle and biddable invalid . . . can hardly be conceived” (Henry Kingsley). Compliant and acquiescent suggest a disposition to yield to authority meekly and without protest: children compliant with the parental will; too acquiescent to challenge the propriety of offering a bribe. Submissive implies an inclination or a willingness to submit without resistance and sometimes with deference to the control of another: “replacing the troublemakers with more submissive people from the masses of unemployed” (Suzanne Muchnic). One who is docile is receptive to being taught and willing to be led, supervised, or directed by another: “A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes—will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished” (John Stuart Mill). Amenable suggests an agreeable responsiveness to authority, advice, or suggestion: a high-spirited and rebellious girl not at all amenable to persuasion. Tractable applies to those who can be handled, dealt with, or managed, especially with ease: “the natives . . . being . . . of an intelligent tractable disposition” (Samuel Butler).

The Philadelphia Christian is obedient to God and those whom God has placed in authority over him. The emboldened phrases under synonyms above are the characteristics of the Philadelphia Christian. He is not rebellious of the authorities that God has placed above him. This includes the wife who is to be obedient to her husband and the child who is to be obedient to the parent. The Philadelphia Christian will be the obedient wife, the obedient child, and the obedient employee. He will be obedient to the laws of man and will be seen as a law-abiding citizen. The only time a Philadelphia Christian would rebel against the authorities above him would be when the orders go against the laws of God. Even then, the refusal to obey would be explained in a courteous and kind manner. For example, the Christian who has been told to tell a lie by his supervisor should respectfully decline to do so with the explanation that it is against God’s law to lie. In most cases, the declination to lie would gain respect from the supervisor. Integrity is something that is admired by everyone—even those who do not have it themselves.


cheer·ful  adj. 1. Being in good spirits; merry. See Synonyms at  glad1. 2. Promoting a feeling of cheer; pleasant: a cozy, cheerful room. 3. Reflecting willingness or good humor: cheerful labor. --cheer“ful·ly adv. --cheer“ful·ness n.  

The Philadelphia Christian is cheerful—even in the face of adversity. He has the peace of God as a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and he exhibits the joy and pleasure of knowing that he belongs to God. He knows that his future is bright, in spite of present circumstances. The Philadelphia Christian does not depend on his present circumstances for his cheerful disposition. He depends upon the inner peace that comes from God. He knows that all things work together for his good, since he loves the Lord with all of his heart, mind and soul. The threat of death does not disturb the inner peace of the Philadelphia Christian, for he knows that when he comes to be absent from the body, he will be present with Christ.  


thrift·y adj. trift·i·er, trift·i·est. 1. Practicing or marked by the practice of thrift; wisely economical. See Synonyms at  sparing. 2. Industrious and thriving; prosperous. 3. Growing vigorously; thriving, as a plant. --thrift“i·ly adv. --thrift“i·ness n.

The Philadelphia Christian is thrifty. He is wisely economical and is not wasteful. He is industrious in his work, and he spends his money wisely. This does not mean that he is stingy, miserly, avaricious, penurious or niggardly. He is not grudging or petty in giving or spending, and he does not live meagerly in order to hoard money. He is not greedy or immoderately desirous of wealth. He does not spend his money recklessly and wastefully, and he is not extravagant in spending. He pays his bills and he renders unto God the firstfruits of his labors, which is the tithe of his income. He is a cheerful giver to the Lord’s work. Thrift and generosity are perfectly compatible with each other.  

Thrift is not the same as greed. Some may see themselves as being thrifty, when they are actually being greedy. I have seen firsthand the greed of corporate officers, who withhold the wages of the laborer, yet pay themselves very large salaries and bonuses, and then attempt to justify their actions. The following Scripture is a prophecy about these rich men, and what is going to happen to them and their wealth at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Their hoards of wealth will actually be a witness against them when they have to account for their lives. These rich men are Christians. The words “rotted”, moth-eaten, and “corroded” refer to wealth that is simply laid in store and unused.

(James 5:1-5 NIV)  Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. {2} Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. {3} Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. {4} Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. {5} You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.


 brave  adj. brav·er, brav·est. 1. Possessing or displaying courage; valiant.  

The Philadelphia Christian is brave. He possesses courage, boldness and valor. This is not the showy, pretentious bravery known as bravado. Bravado is a pretense of courage and a false show of bravery. Bravado is a disposition toward showy defiance or false expressions of courage. True bravery is coupled with humility, meekness, and patience, but it is not timidity. The Philadelphia Christian is humble, meek, and patient at the same time that he is bold, courageous and valiant. He is not marked by bravado or pretentious displays of courage designed to impress others. The Philadelphia Christian is the one who lays his life on the line to save another, and is embarrassed by the attention that he gets for doing so.


clean  adj. clean·er, clean·est. 1. Free from dirt, stain, or impurities; unsoiled. 2.a. Free from foreign matter or pollution; unadulterated: clean air; clean drinking water. ….10.a. Morally pure; virtuous: led a clean life. b. Having no marks of discredit or offense…. 11. Fit for all readers, listeners, or audiences; not ribald or obscene: a clean joke. 12. Honest or fair: a clean fighter; a clean competition. 13. Slang. a. Not carrying concealed weapons or drugs. b. Free from narcotics addiction. c. Innocent of a suspected crime. --clean adv. cleaner, cleanest. 1. So as to be unsoiled: wash the dishes clean. 2. In a fair manner: played the game clean. 4. To remove the contents from; empty: cleaned my plate. Slang. To eliminate or discard what is undesirable: The scandal forced the company to clean house. [Middle English clene, from Old English clÆne.] --clean“a·ble adj. --clean“ness n.


SYNONYMS: clean, antiseptic, cleanly, immaculate, spotless. The central meaning shared by these adjectives is “free from dirt”: clean clothing; antiseptic surgical instruments; cats, cleanly animals; an immaculate tablecloth; spotless gloves.

ANTONYMS: dirty.

The Philadelphia Christian is clean. He fits several of the definitions in the American Heritage Dictionary shown above for the word clean. He is free from the stain of sin, and he lives his life free of drugs and crime. He is not only clean on the inside, but he keeps himself clean on the outside. The Old Testament priests were constantly washing their hands and feet on the outside as a demonstration of cleanliness on the inside. It is possible for a Christian to be clean on the outside, and still be dirty on the inside, but a Christian who is clean on the inside will eventually come to be clean on the outside. Inner cleansing will always eventually work its way to the outside.


rev·er·ent adj. Marked by, feeling, or expressing reverence. [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin rever¶ns, reverent-, present participle of rever¶rº, to revere. See REVERE1.] --rev“er·ent·ly adv.

rev·er·ence  n. 1. A feeling of profound awe and respect and often love; veneration. See Synonyms at  honor. 2. An act showing respect, especially a bow or curtsy. 3. The state of being revered. 4. Reverence. Used as a form of address for certain members of the Christian clergy: Your Reverence. --rev·er·ence tr.v. rev·er·enced, rev·er·enc·ing, rev·er·enc·es. To consider or treat with profound awe and respect; venerate. --rev“er·enc·er n.

The Philadelphia Christian is reverent toward God. He has profound awe, respect, love, and veneration toward God. It is because of this reverence that the Philadelphia Christian does not take the Lord’s name in vain. He does not use filthy language that would dishonor God. Most people with even a little character do not use filthy language in the presence of ladies and children, but they do not hesitate to use it in the presence of God. Since the Philadelphia Christian lives his life abiding in the presence of God, he does not use filthy language, tell filthy jokes, or perform any actions that are irreverent towards God. As soon as the Philadelphia Christian does commit an act that is offensive to God, he seeks cleansing and forgiveness for that act. The Christian who lives his life with the knowledge that he is in the abiding presence of God lives a life that is reverent toward God. The Philadelphia Christian not only talks the talk of the Christian life, but he walks the walk of the Christian life.


If a Christian desires to know if he is a Philadelphia Christian, he can judge himself in accordance with the above twelve traits or characteristics to determine if he is measuring up to God’s standards. The Christian whose life is characterized by the above twelve traits will carry these traits into heaven with him, and he will be rewarded with a position of honor in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ. The Christian whose life is not characterized by the above traits will see his life perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ. He will have these traits after the Judgment Seat of Christ, but there will be no reward for him in the kingdom. This is what is meant in the Scriptures about a Christian perishing or losing his soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ.