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."
- Philadelphia was small but faithful and spiritual power house. It was a missionary city to promote the spread of the Graeco-Roman civilization and then of Christianity. The people in Philadelphia offered stubborn resistance to the Turks (1379-90 A.D.)
- Philadelphia is Ala-Sheher
- There are Christians there today.
- The chief opposition to the faithful little church is from the Jews (cf. Ro 9-11).
Holy And True
- Sanctus et Verus. Holy and genuine.
- The Holy One a title of the Messiah
- The consecrated one, set apart.
- Jesus is the True witness
He that has the key of David
- This reference comes from Isa 22:22,
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.
- Jesus has exclusive power in heaven, on earth, and in Hades All authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 16:19; 28:18)
- Jesus is the Lord of the dead and living (Ro 14:9)
- Jesus is Name above all name (Php 2:9f).
- Jesus has the key to Hades and of Death (Re 1:18).
- Christ has power to admit and exclude of his own will.
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.
I have set
- I have given a gift an open door.
A door opened.
- The metaphor of the open door was a common one (Joh 10:7-9)
- An opportunity for missionary effort in spite of the Jewish hostility.
Introducing the reason why Jesus acted in favor of the church in Philadelphia
A little power
- Little influence or weight in Philadelphia
- The members were not rich like the members in Sardis and Laodicea
- Similar to Paul's letter (1 Co 1:26f.).
- "And yet you kept my word in some crisis of trial.
- Similar to Jesus testifying for His disciples (kept the word) Joh 17:6
Did not deny
- They stood true in the face of trial
- The gift of an open door was because the church kept the word and did not deny their faith
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.
I will make (I give)
- These Jewish converts are a gift from Christ ("the synagogue of Satan)."
- Every convert is gift of God.
I will make them To come and worship
- Resuming the prophecy after the parenthesis
- "That they come and worship"
- The language is based on Isa 45:14; 60:14.
To know I have Loved You
Similar to the message in Isaiah 43:4 (I loved thee),
Isaiah 43:4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.
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.
Kept My Command (Patience)
- Endurance similar to Paul's letter
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ 2 Thessalonians 3:5
You kept - I also will keep
- Jesus' action corresponding to the followers.
Remember how Jesus prayed for His disciples (John 17:6, 11,12)
John 17:6 " I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the 11 "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
From the hour of trial
- Jesus prayed for His disciples - to keep them from evil one John 17:15
- Unspotted from the world Jamess 1:27.
- Jesus endured suffering and same (Heb 12:1f.) and he will help them.
- There is still a church in Philadelphia
11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
I come quickly Hold fast that which you have
- Jesus warned and instructed the seven churches with these words.
- Win the crown and not forfeit it by failure
- Paul wrote about what is laid up for him
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing 2 Timothy 4:8.
- If you forfeit in that case it will go to another (Matthew 25:28).
12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And 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.
He that overcome - A pillar
- A double significance of being firmly fixed and giving stability to the building.
- God will descend as the new Jerusalem with God himself as the temple
He shall go out no more
- "Fixity of character is at last achieved" (Charles). He, like the pillar, remains in place.
- He receives this triple name (of God, of the city of God, of Christ)
- Aaron wore the name of Jehovah upon his forehead (Ex 28:36,38)
36 " You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 38 "So it shall be on Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
My own new name
Christ himself will receive a new name along with all else in the future world (Gressmann).
13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."