- Attributes of Jesus7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.Holy One- Set apart, distinct, unique, truly GodTrue One- Genuinely Messiah, Words are true, you can trust themKey of David- Jesus controls the entrance to David’s house, which ultimately refers to the Messianic kingdom.Opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens-Opens and shuts what? Door of David- Jesus alone has the power to admit into or exclude from His kingdom.Knowledge of Jesus8 “ ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.What does Jesus know about the church in Philadelphia? Your worksBrief interlude- A word of encouragement to the church. How does Jesus seek to encourage the church?I have set before you an open door? What does this refer to?Option 1: Christ is the door of the sheep / door of salvationProblems: Christ is both the one setting the door and the door itself, the context of Revelation 3:8 is far removed from the context of John 10.Option 2: Expanded Missionary OpportunitiesProblems: Doesn’t fit the context of a suffering churchOption 3: a sure entrance into the messianic kingdom, promised to the church as a reward for their faithfulness
No one, not even those of “the synagogue of Satan,” can shut them out. Jewish opponents would seek to deny Gentiles, such as Christians in this city, entrance into the messianic kingdom (Beckwith). This meaning is clear from the immediate context of the message.Then Jesus resumes his knowledge about the churches works.I know that you have but little power?“Little power” must refer to the church’s limited influence because of its numerical smallness.Yet you have KEPT my Word!You have not DENIED my Name!Promises of Jesus9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.Synagogue of Satan?
“The synagogue of Satan” was apparently composed of professing Jews, worshiping in the synagogue and claiming to be the true Israel39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.”42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.Come and bow down before your feet?Option 1: The false Jews will come and bow down before the churches feet- without implying salvation of those who are forced to come and worship.10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
This is the language of eschatological judgment rather than an anticipation of blessing. It simply says that the Jews will acknowledge their mistake in denying Christians a place in the kingdom.9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.Option 2: a reference to an eschatological salvation of the JewsThomas Quote“In light of the general nature of the application of all seven of these messages, the prophecy must look forward to the time when the whole church enters the messianic kingdom (Beckwith). The people of Israel will have an entirely different attitude toward the church as Christ’s bride because they will by then have turned to Christ themselves.”I will make them (believing Jews in the messianic kingdom as opposed to the attitude of most Jews in that day) to have an entirely different attitude toward Gentile Christians and the church. Promise of future blessing.10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.Word about patient endurance- probably best understood as the endurance that Christ Himself displayed and must be emulated.3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole worldWhat is the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world? The future period of trouble just before Christ’s personal return to earth.How will Jesus “KEEP” the church from the hour of trial? Will he preserve the church through the hour of trial, or will he remove the church from the hour of trial?Those that argue for the idea that the church will be preserved, but not removed from the hour of trial cite John 17:15.15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.Notice the wording of John 17:15- how is it similar to Revelation 3:10? “That you keep them from the evil one.” / “I will keep you from the hour of trial coming on the whole world.”“That you keep them from the evil one.” / “I will keep you from the hour of trial coming on the whole world.”ARGUMENT 1What are the differences between John 17 and Revelation 3?1). John 17:15 keep the from what? Evil One / Revelation 3:10 keep them from what? Hour of Trial- a period of time during which judgement will fall on the world.2). How is the timing of the verses different? John 17:15- was the Evil One already present? Were the disciples already in the midst of evil? / Revelation 3:10- what is the timing of the plagues of the Tribulation period? They are still future.3). John 17:15- the spiritual realm of the evil one is in view (i.e. spiritual death), not the moral sphere of the evil one (i.e., the world system) while Rev 3:10 does refer to a position outside of the realm of the world’s system, i.e. “hour of trial.”10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.ARGUMENT 2
The conclusion that the meaning is deliverance for members of the Philadelphian church while they remain present during “the hour of trial” is beset by serious weaknesses. One of them is the obvious fact that saints present during the Tribulation period will not be exempt from harm. Many of them will suffer martyrdom (e.g., 6:9–11; 7:9–14) and will not be preserved (Smith; Johnson).9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.ARGUMENT 3Perhaps the most convincing of all is how well it fits the immediate context of the message to Philadelphia. It assures the faithful in Philadelphia who had already undergone their fiery test that they would be spared the stress and storm that were to come on others after the arrival of “the hour of trial” (Beckwith).In other words, v. 10 is a promise ment to encourage the suffering church of Philadelphia to keep on patiently enduring hardship.Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world. I will remove you before that hour of trial. What you are suffering now at the hands of the Jews is bad, but keep persevering a little longer- I promise to spare you from a trial that is much much worse than the one you are going through right now.How much worse?16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”Not just the wrath of the lamb, but intense persecution of believers at the hands of Satan and his minions is prophesied during the tribulation period. It is an encouragement to keep on keeping on, knowing the promise of Jesus that His church will be spared from the coming hour of trial.What about the interpretation that Jesus would not remove the church from the hour of trial, but preserve them through the hour of trial? Is that really an encouragement?
The latter would be tantamount to a threat rather than a promise, a threat that for remaining faithful, they would experience worse persecution than they had already. Such is completely inappropriate at this point in the message where a promise to motivate the recipients is required. Rather, they were encouraged to bear their present suffering and continue their faithfulness and endurance, because of the promised deliverance from the time of trouble that would overtake the world, but would not overtake them (Walvoord).ARGUMENT 427 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.What does Jesus clearly mean by “save me from this hour?” Does he mean preserve me from this hour, our remove me from this hour?Command of Jesus11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.I am coming soon?- immanenceHold fast what you have- command; what are we to hold fast to? The degree of growth and progress already achieved by the church- the promise of deliverance from the hour of trial and of the soon coming of Jesus carries with in the responsibility of continued effort.No one may seize your crown?10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Perhaps here the more general meaning of victory attached to stephanon should remain undefined.8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.Promise to the Overcomer12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.Pillar in the temple of my GodMeaning? Never shall he go out of it-Metaphorical- No temple in the New Jerusalem22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
The Jerusalem that comes down from heaven is all temple, and Christ’s victorious ones are its living stones and pillars. The Philadelphian Christians will be permanent, like a pillar in the Temple, and will stand when all else has fallen. They are assured of continuance in God’s presence throughout all eternity (Walvoord).12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.Name of my God- belonging to GodName of the city of my God- right of citizenship in the New JerusalemChrist’s new name-
Christ’s “new name” symbolizes the full revelation of His character promised to the overcomer at Christ’s second advent. Currently, man is incapable of grasping the full theological significance of the incarnation, but that will change. When He comes, the victors will not only appreciate fully who Christ is, but they will bear His new name with Him (Charles; Mounce). Herein is further assurance.New Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
2 Thessalonians 3:5ESV
2 Peter 1:8–11ESV
Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
How did you hear about us?