Revelation 3:7-13
The Church at Philadelphia
 
(Rev 3:7 KJV)
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Now the focus turns to the sixth church which is the church at Philadelphia. The word “Philadelphia” means “brotherly love.” At this time I live 65 miles north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The introduction starts out stating that the Lord Jesus Christ is holy. Holiness is the primary characteristic of the God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Lev 11:44-45 KJV) For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. {45} For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

Then the next description of the Lord Jesus Christ which is given is “true.”
(John 18:37-38 KJV) Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. {38} Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. Pilate asked the Lord Jesus “what is truth?” and there was truth personified standing right in front of him. When a person becomes saved, that person is indwelled with the Spirit of truth. (John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

Then we are told that the Lord Jesus Christ has the key of David. This is a quote from the book of Isaiah.

(Isa 22:20-25 KJV) And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: {21} And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. {22} And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. {23} And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. {24} And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. {25} In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.

If you notice that this portion of Scripture is speaking of a person called Eliakim. The name “Eliakim” means “Resurrection of God.” Already back in Isaiah God was already speaking of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that Eliakim will be given the Key of David. David was king over Israel for forty years so the metaphor here is teaching us that Christ has complete authority over the royal household. As Eliakim had total control over the affairs of physical Judah, Christ has total control over the spiritual house of Judah which is really the body of believers. Notice in the Isaiah passage it speaks of Eliakim being nailed in a sure place. The Lord Jesus Christ was nailed in a sure place on Calvary and then was resurrected on the third day which resulted in the building of the body of believers throughout the entire age of man on Earth including both Old Testament and New Testament believers. Verse 23 states that Eliakim shall have a glorious throne in his father’s house. We can see by the Lord Jesus going to Calvary, He also has a glorious throne in His Father’s House.
(Rev 5:6 KJV) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Then we are told that with the key that when He shuts, no one can open, and when He opens, no one can shut. This is a reference to salvation. That when the Lord Jesus Christ will save someone, the gates of Hell cannot prevail against any of God’s Elect becoming saved.
(Mat 24:24 KJV) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. The Elect of God may be deceived before salvation but never to the point that it would be impossible to save them. Then those who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life can never become saved. They are shut and no one can open. This means that Christ is going to be saving His Elect and nothing can hinder that salvation plus it means they can never lose their salvation for what Christ opens no one can shut, not even the person who had become saved. Many teach that a true born again believer can lose their salvation but this verse proves that anyone who has become truly saved can never lose their salvation.

(Rev 3:8 KJV)
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.

The Lord Jesus Christ is also fully aware of the works which this church was engaging in. He also set before them an open door of ministry.
(1 Cor 16:9 KJV) For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. The Apostle Paul also had a great door opened to him in Ephesus and he would walk through that door in ministry opportunity. The same situation had occurred in Philadelphia where the Lord opened the door of ministry and no matter how hard the enemy would work to stop it, they could not. (Mat 16:18 KJV) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. When the Lord Jesus Christ has Elect in a certain place, He will open the door and the powers of Hell and their human pawns will never be able to close the door of ministry until the Lord Himself closes it. He states that the church at Philadelphia has a little strength. This may refer to the church being a small church rather than a very large congregation but regardless of size, they probably made a big impact on this city.

The size of a church is not always important, but what is important is their testimony and ministry. We read in this verse that they kept the word of the Lord Jesus. The word “kept” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “guard, pay attention to, or observe.” They also did not deny the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(2 Tim 2:12 KJV) If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: It is possible that a true Christian can deny the name of the Lord Jesus but when that happens it weakens the testimony of the Christian. If a church denies the name of Christ, even partially, it can weaken their ministry and cause them to be removed from the living churches of Christ. Some martyrs of the past under torture had renounced the name of Christ but when they came to their senses and no longer denied Him, Christ strengthened them to endure martyrdom. Today many Christians deny the name of Christ in the name of ecumenism or fear of being labeled to rigid in their Christian life. Many churches today have been removed from the living churches of Christ because they have denied His deity.

(Rev 3:9 KJV)
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

The synagogue of Satan is mentioned also in Revelation 2:9. The word “synagogue” in the Greek simply means “a place of assembly or a congregation.” It does not necessarily point to a congregation of Jews. What would be a congregation of Satan? It would be any body of people that deny the cardinal truths about Christ and Christianity. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to judge all the people of the earth, those who were members of false churches or synagogues of Satan, will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ. According to 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, the true believers are going to have some type of responsibility in the final judgment.
(1 Cor 6:2-3 KJV) Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? {3} Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? It states that we are going to judge the world and we will also judge angels. Now as to what extent we will judge on both accounts remains to be seen but God is giving us insight that we will have some part in that final judgment. It may be that these false churches who castigated the true believers will at that time see that it was they who were wrong and the true believers correct. Now when this verse tells us that these unbelievers are going to worship at our feet, we must keep in mind that when the final judgment comes, the true believer will have already been in their glorified spiritual bodies and we will take on a different appearance. We must also remember that we are children of the living God and we will be clothed accordingly which means royal apparel and that is why these unbelievers will be worshipping at our feet, perhaps to beg for mercy when they are sentenced. The believer will also have a different mindset because we will have been totally purified and sin will be reprehensible to us because we will then be totally holy.

(Rev 3:10 KJV)
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.

Since this church has faithfully kept the word of Christ in patience, this is evidence that they are truly saved. Since they have become truly saved, Christ is going to keep them from the great hour of temptation which will fall on the whole world. The word “temptation” in the Greek is actually the word for “trial.” The great trial which is going to affect everyone in the entire world is going to be the trial of each individual person at the Great White Throne Judgment. There, everyone will give an account of their life unto the Lord and since they will be standing there without a Savior, they will be judged and condemned to eternal Hell. Those who are truly saved will not come into judgment because Christ has paid for all their sins at Calvary and that is why they are kept from that great hour of trial where all the unsaved will appear on the last day.

(Rev 3:11 KJV)
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

The hope of the second coming of Christ had encouraged those true believers in the Philadelphian church to continue to hold on to the truths which they had in that church. They were to continue fighting the good fight of faith because if they compromised, then it would be like they had lost their crown. The crown was given to all those true believers who continued to persevere until the end when the Lord returns. Even though it has been two thousand years since Revelation was written, we must look at the time according to how the Lord looks at time and not according to our calendar. In light of eternity, two thousand years is but a mere drop in the ocean. The crown would have been familiar to these Christians since Philadelphia was a place of games and festivals where crowns were given out. The crown mentioned here is called a Stephanos Crown which was a crown given to a victor of a game. It teaches that these believers were to be victorious in Christ as those who were victorious in the games.

(Rev 3:12 KJV)
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

In the closing we are told that those who overcome will be made eternal pillars in the temple of God. The word in the Greek for “temple” designates the inner part of the temple. In the Old Testament Temple, the inner part was where the Ark of the Covenant was situated which was in the Holy of Holies. Only the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies once a year. Here we are told that we shall be part of the inner sanctuary of God and no more will we have to go out, which means that God will supply all our needs for eternity and that will result in our being satisfied forever. There are three names which the Lord Jesus is going to symbolically write upon the believer.

The first name is going to be the name of God.
(Rev 14:1 KJV) And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

The second name is the city of God which is New Jerusalem.
(Rev 21:2 KJV) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

The third name is the new name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Rev 19:12 KJV) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

When one speaks of a new name it is always associated with the characteristics of the reason that a new name was given. Here we are seeing that the true believers will have the name of God which means that they are in the family of God.
(Rev 21:3 KJV) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Then the name of the new city which means that the true believers will be eternal citizens of that city which is the eternal city of God. (Heb 11:16 KJV) But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Then we are told that we will receive the new name that Christ will write upon us. At this time, based on Revelation 19:12, we do not know what that new name is.

(Rev 3:13 KJV)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Once again those who are truly saved and who have the corresponding spiritual ears will be able to hear and understand the message which goes out to all the churches until the last day.
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