1. Revelation 3:7
To the angel (angelos or messenger). Many theologians believe (and I concur) that this “angel” or messenger is the pastor. Therefore, to the pastor of the church in Philadelphia .
Philadelphia was the youngest of the seven cities. It was founded around 140 BC. It was called Philadelphia because it means “one who loves his brother.”
Holy . . .we see that God is holy, holy, holy
True . . . two uses of true in NT. One is a statement is true vs false. The second usage is true in the sense of reality. It is the second usage in this text. Jesus is reality. In Him is reality
One with the key of David . . . Hezekiah had a faithful servant called Eliakim who held the keys to the palace. Isaiah 22:22 states that one will come from David who will have this key. It is none other than Jesus who holds this key.
2. Revelation 3:8
The door of mission opportunity. It was founded with the deliberate intention that it might be a means of spreading Greek culture and language to Lydia and Phrygia: and so well did it do its work that by AD 19 the Lydians had forgotten their own language and were all Greek. The archeologist Sir William Ramsay says that Philadelphia was “the center for the diffusion of Greek language and letters in a peaceful land and by peaceful means.” In other words, Philadelphia became the open door to spread Greek ideas in the lands beyond.
We are in the later parts of the Church age or the age of the Gentiles. God has opened a door for us to reach the ends of the earth for His glory. What saddens me is that we get so concerned about trivial things while the doors of opportunity are closing all around us. Soon we will be in the period of testing where many persons will fall away from the Church. But today is not this day. We must work as long as it is called day.
The open door into Russia is closing. Our opportunities there are not as real as they were five years ago. The door back into France is closing. Ravi Zaccharias was escorted out for preaching the Gospel. Proselytizing is not legal. While the door is open, we must run through them. How long will the door of opportunity be open in Indonesia? I do not know. The door of opportunity has closed in the Ivory Coast.
The need is growing, however. In Great Britain I saw a news special of a couple who placed a Christian flyer on their flat bulletin board. They were countering the Muslims in the area by offering a Bible class to discover the true Christianity. The government came down hard on them and they had to go to court to be able to hold the Bible study in their home. I confirmed that one history department in the Northern UK are avoiding teaching about he holocaust because it directly contradicts the teachings in the local mosques and they do not want to inflame the Muslims.
3. Revelation 3:9
The city of brotherly love will see and experience true love when the Messiah shows all of creation His love for them.
An hour of testing came over the known world when the Barbarians attacked and Rome fell. Yet, Philadelphia remained a free city of peace. When the Turks and Muslims flooded across Asia Minor, and every other town had fallen, Philadelphia stood. For centuries there was a free Greek, Christian city amid people from a very different culture. It wasn’t until midway through the 14th Century that it fell.
4. Revelation 3:11
Coming quickly has two meanings:
1) We must continue to look for His coming and be prepared.
2) He is coming to take us home with Him soon (life is short on this earth).
No one takes your crown . . . it is takes it and give it to someone else.
5. Revelation 3:12
Philadelphia was a city “full of earthquakes.” Shocks were an everyday occurrence. Gaping cracks appeared in the walls of the houses. Most of the population lived outside the city in huts and were afraid even to go on to the city streets in case they should be killed by falling masonry. Those who still dared to live in the city were considered mad; they spent their time shoring up the shaking buildings. These terrible days the people would go in and out of the city. They new what it was like to have to go out.
New name . . . Church at Philadelphia knew about new names. The city had changed its name several times. The new name of Christ, no one knows, (Revelation 19:11-16).