Revelation Chapter 3: 7
Revelation 3:7 – “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write…”
The name Philadelphia: comes from the Greek roots “phileo,” which means “I love,” and “adelphos,” which means “a brother”; together known as “brotherly love.”
Historical background of Philadelphia:
[Philadelphia] was established in 189 BC by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (197-160 BC). Eumenes II named the city for the love of his brother, who would be his successor, Attalus II (159-138 BC), whose loyalty earned him the nickname, “Philadelphos,” literally meaning “one who loves his brother.” Lacking an heir, Attalus III Philometer, the last of the Attalid kings of Pergamum, bequeathed his kingdom, including Philadelphia, to his Roman allies when he died in 133 BC. Rome established the province of Asia in 129 BC by combining Ionia and the former Kingdom of Pergamum.
Philadelphia was in the administrative district of Sardis. In AD 17, the city suffered badly in an earthquake, and the emperor Tiberius relieved it of having to pay taxes. In response, the city granted honors to Tiberius. Evidence from coinage reveals that Caligula helped the city; under Vespasian, Philadelphia received his cognomen, Flavia. Under Caracalla, Philadelphia housed an imperial cult; its coins bore the word Neokoron (literally, “temple-sweeper”–caretaker of the temple). A small theater located at the northern edge of Toptepe Hill is all that remains of Roman Philadelphia.
Revelation 3:7 – These things says He who is holy, He who is true…
“Holy” means to set apart:
Leviticus 20:26 – And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
The Lord is “holy” and is also known as the “Holy One”:
Isaiah 43:15 – “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”
Isaiah 47:4 – As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel.
The Church should strive for holiness because God is holy. He has called us to separate from our “former lusts”:
1 Peter 1:13-16 – Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am Holy.”
As discussed in Revelation 1:5, Jesus is the “faithful witness.” The Greek word translated “faithful” can also mean reliable, trustworthy, or true. A similar title is given to Jesus later in Revelation:
Revelation 19:11 – Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
A prophecy of Isaiah, fulfilled in the time of King Hezekiah, reveals the meaning of this passage:
Isaiah 22:15-19 – Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “Go, proceed to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house, and say: ‘What have you here, and whom have you here, that you have hewn a sepulcher here, as he who hews himself a sepulcher on high, who carves a tomb for himself in a rock? Indeed, the LORD will throw you away violently, O mighty man, and will surely seize you. He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball into a large country; there you shall die, and there your glorious chariots shall be the shame of your master’s house. So I will drive you out of your office, and from your position he will pull you down.”
Isaiah 22:20-22 – Then it shall be in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open.
Isaiah 22:23-25 – “I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. ‘They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers. In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for the LORD has spoken.'”
Shebna was a scribe (2 Kings 18-19), who served as steward over the house of Hezekiah, the King of Judah. Shebna apparently was a man of pride. While it was customary for wealthy men to hew new tombs for themselves, Shebna went beyond the norm by carving out an extravagant tomb in a high place. Ironically, he went away to exile and was never buried in his tomb.
The Lord replaced Shebna, with Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. Eliakim served the Lord, rather than himself. As a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, Eliakim was given authority over the house of David, given the “key” that opens and closes access to the king. Likewise, Jesus is the way to the Father, who is also a secure “peg” that the “glory of His Father” has been hung on.
Revelation 3:7 “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;”
Philadelphia: The Danger of Failing to Advance (1790 to 1900 A.D.). The Missionary Church.
The city of Philadelphia was 25 miles southeast of Sardis on an 800 foot rise. To this church, which Christ says has a little strength, the Lord comes to open an avenue of opportunity that no force in hell can shut. “Possessing the key of David” means that He has the authority to open this supernatural door. The reference to those who “say they are Jews and are not” refers to all who reject Jesus Christ. Romans 2 explains what constitutes a Jew.
Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:” “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
Jesus shows Himself to this church of Philadelphia in the very same way that they worship Him.
(1) He is Holy. Jesus tells us to “be Holy even as He is Holy” (Lev. 11:44, 1 Peter 1:15).
(2) He shows Himself as truth. He is “the Way, The Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
Jesus is the one that opens the door to heaven or hell for us. Jesus is the door to heaven. He is the only one who can shut or open either door. He took the keys of hell away from the devil when Jesus went there and preached. Jesus is the final Judge for everyone’s resting place.
This church in Philadelphia and its symbolic church today, are not only well aware of who Jesus is, but they are patterning their lives after His. They are the very elect. Full of the Word, so full that it would be terribly difficult to deceive them.
God promises these believers that He will keep them from the hour of temptation which will come upon all the world. Note that the event spoken of:
(1) Is a definite time period – “the hour”;
(2) Is a period of trial;
(3) Was future from the time of John’s writing;
(4) Was to be worldwide;
(5) The promise, in Greek, was to “keep thee out of” the hour.
These facts make it evident that the event refers to the Great Tribulation described (in Mat. 24:15-22). These believers at Philadelphia who have only a “little strength” have nevertheless kept God’s Word and have not denied His Name. God promises that they will become pillars in the temple of God (Rev. 3:12). This church may have been small in number or in material resources, but God was going to make them strong. They are promised an open door. In Scripture, an open door refers to Christ (John 10:7), an opening to preach the Gospel (Acts 5:19-20), and the rapture of the Church (Rev. 4:1). Each of these may be interpreted as the “open door” promised to this church, even as each can be applied to the Church today.
In these end times, God is opening many tremendous doors of opportunity and there is always an inherent danger of failing to advance at Christ’s command. You may feel you have only a little strength, but God can make you a strong and mighty pillar in His Kingdom, a spiritual warrior who is able to walk through every door He opens. Let me ask you: What is holding you back from fulfilling God’s call for your life?
(2) Your finances?
(3) Your health?
(4) Your relationships with others?
God has set before you an open door which no man can shut. All the demons in hell cannot shut it. Jesus is the way. All you must do is walk through those doors in the almighty power of God.
media courtesy : calvary chapel fullerton
image courtesy: Revelation 3 -7 Highlands Church
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.