Persecuted for preaching the gospel, around A.D. 95, John was exiled to Patmos, an island on the Aegean Sea where he received a revelation from an angel of Christ.
Previously, Christ spoke to John through a vision that included seven candlesticks which represent the seven churches in Asia, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
The first church mentioned to John was Ephesus, which Jesus described as having become loveless, and He warned the Ephesians they should repent or face God’s wrath. Then, Christ praised the church at Smyrna and encouraged them on the dawn of suffering to come. The third church, Pergamos was also praised for their perseverance, and rebuked for allowing blasphemous teaching within the church and encouraging the doctrine of Balaam to be spread which led believers to unrepented sin including idolatry and fornication. The church at Thyatira, the fourth church was labeled by Jesus as a corrupt fellowship because it allowed the teachings of Jezebel, a woman who promoted sexual immorality and idolatry. The fifth church, at Sardis was called dead for their lack of sacrificial works, which prompted Jesus to warn those at Sardis to be watchful, and repent or pay the ultimate price.
Now, through the pen of His apostle John, Jesus addresses the church at Philadelphia.
“7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” (Revelation 3:7-8)
Located inland about 25 miles south-east of Sardis and unlike the other churches mentioned by the Lord in His revelation to John, Philadelphia was not a prominent nor a thriving location. Rather, Philadelphia was a relatively new city founded about 150 B.C. by King Attallus of Pergamum, nicknamed Philadelphus, which means “lover of a brother.” The city continues to be known today as “the city of brotherly love.”
To the fellowship at Philadelphia, Jesus, who described Himself as the holder of the key to the Kingdom of Heaven gives praise for their obedience to His word, in spite of persecution. This would be the only church mentioned in the Revelation which was found blameless, as its works and devotion brought glory to the Father and delighted the Lord to such an extent, He would open doors for those at Philadelphia which no one would be able to shut, providing ministry opportunities like no other.
“9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” (Revelation 3:9)
Jesus now points out Jewish opposers in Philadelphia which He calls hypocrites, as He unveils His plan for them to bow before believers as Christ reveals His love for His chosen disciples at Philadelphia.
“10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
Since the fellowship at Philadelphia was found blameless by the Lord, He vowed to keep them from the great trial to come, one of such magnitude it would be cast upon the entire planet.
“11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’ (Revelation 3:11-13)
Now, Jesus announces His second coming, and calls on believers at Philadelphia to continue their walk along the narrow path that leads to the Kingdom of Heaven, the New Jerusalem where three names will be added to each saint. The first name, Yahweh, the holy name of God. The second name, Jerusalem, the place where those who place their faith in the risen Christ will rejoice forever. The third name, Yeshua. the triumphant name of the Savior from whom this revelation was conceived and delivered. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant John,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through your revelation delivered by your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre