Saturday, March 12, 2016

Revelation 3:7-13 comments: Philadelphia


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; 8  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. 9  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. 10  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. 11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12  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. 13  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Philadelphia church is blessed. John uses a thought from Isaiah here to begin.

Isaiah 22:22  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.

The open door is clear by cross-referencing as the church’s witness for Christ.

John 10:7  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

1Corinthians 16:9  For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

2Corinthians 2:12 ¶  Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

Colossians 4:3  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Again, the Synagogue of Satan, if referring to Replacement Theology, is a great hindrance to the Gospel. Historically, church organizations that depend on babies being born to followers, baptized near birth, and raised with a nominal adherence to Biblical truth but following specific rituals have been very hostile to the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They desired to spread the idea of the authority of their church. They viewed themselves as a replacement for the Jews and were trying to establish a kingdom on earth, filling graves in the process.

Christ says that, at some point, they will come and fall at the feet and pay reverence, or worship, to this evangelical church, realizing that Christ loved that church. Here, we have confirmation of one definition of the physical act of worship.

Psalm 95:6  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Matthew 4:9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

This church has been faithful to the word of Christ’s patience. Now, there’s something you don’t hear much preaching on. What is Christ’s patience? Patience is normally used for something that we are given. The patience of God is not usually spoken of, but His forbearance and longsuffering, which are synonyms with patience. God restrains Himself from wrath and judgment to give men and women the opportunity to turn from dead works that do not justify them but condemn them, to Him.

After a long list of the sins of mankind throughout history in Romans, chapter 1, Paul says;

Romans 2:1 ¶  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2  But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Romans 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Old Testament prophets lamented the fact that God was so patient and did not dispense judgment quickly enough to suit them. But, God has His own agenda which does not suit us in the flesh.

1Timothy 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

In verse 10 the reference is made to the hour of temptation which is going to come upon the world of men and women on the earth. Here, use is made of a period of time as a general type, as in the day of judgment, meaning a time of rather than 60 minutes or a specific 24 hours. It is a promise of God’s wrath to come, which we shall see soon. The church will be kept from it. The church will be translated or raptured and it will be kept from the hour of temptation. Temptation for the church is a danger as what is coming could make someone turn away from Christ.

 James 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

But, remember these are churches, not individual believers. Each of them is warned and each of them is given promises. The Smyrna church, the martyr church, and the Philadelphia church, the missionary church, receive God’s full approval and confidence. What kind of church is your church? The martyr church will receive a crown of life if it is faithful unto death and the missionary church has a crown and must hold fast to keep it.

Events are going to happen fast, as Christ says He will come quickly. Here is the thought of the possibility of losing a crown. Paul, James, and Peter talk about crowns.

Philippians 4:1  Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

1Thessalonians 2:19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

2Timothy 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

James 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1Peter 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Are these crowns figurative, metaphors for the glory we await or are they literal crowns that can be removed as in the following verse we’ll encounter later;

Revelation 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…

Verse 12…

12  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. 13  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Pillars in the porch of Solomon’s temple did have a name so there is a precedent for that.

1Kings 7:21  And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz.

This is very figurative and metaphorical language as these warnings to the churches seem to be.

Narrowing the focus down to the individual as has been the practice in these utterances to the churches the overcomer, as a solid pillar that will not be moved, has God’s name in him, the New Jerusalem written in him, and the new name Christ has already spoken of giving him, or, perhaps, Christ has a name we don’t know that will be written in the believer who believes that Jesus is God until the end.

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