1897 Artist’s Depiction of Joseph Kissing Brother Benjamin
7And 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;
8I 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.
9Behold, 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.
10Because 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.
11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12Him 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.
13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Revelation 3:7-13, King James Version)
Jesus, the only man to be truly holy, is also the One Man with the key of David. He is the head of the Church, not Gerald Flurry, David C Pack, Ronald Weinland, Clyde Kilough or Dennis Luker. He is the head, and we as part of the body are to obey Him above any else just as an arm or a leg of a body obeys the brain.
He knows their works. Even as He knew the works in Sardis, so does Jesus know the works of those in Philadelphia. Once again, we see that we are expected to have works. It is not “faith alone”, a phrase which only exists, ironically, in Jas 2:24.
Jesus uses the key to open doors. If He opens a door, no human can shut it. In fact, even Satan cannot shut it.
An open door to what?
1Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:1-9, King James Version)
It might be worthwhile to examine Psalm 23 and how it relates to the above.
No mere man holds the key of David, and no mere man can save another.
We see another reference to the “synagogue of Satan”, who call themselves Jews, which is similar to the Church of Ephesus. So, does Satan have a church? Does he try to make his church appear like it has Jewish origins while in reality it is filled with pagan rituals?
Ephesus was promised “thou shalt suffer”. Philadelphia, however, was told to endure and was promised to be kept “from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth” (HCSB).
This verse has become one of the most twisted and turned upside down than probably any other in the Bible!
“Philadelphia” is Strong’s G5359 for “brotherly love”.
8Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:8-9, King James Version)
Interestingly, in the passage leading up to verse 9, Peter is writing about husbands and wives. How much should we love our spiritual brothers and sisters?
What am I getting at? The notion that you join a “Philadelphian” church “because” you will go to a place of safety and not have to go through the Tribulation. I submit to you that if you are doing that, you are not a Philadelphian but a “save my own butt ‘Christian’”!
HWA used to describe love as “outgoing concern for others”. Worrying about a place of safety pretty much disqualifies you from being Philadelphian. An organization that teaches you must be with them in order to go to a place of safety will not be filled with Philadelphians but people who are looking out for themselves.
Furthermore, those who point the finger at others to call them “Laodicean” are not only not Philadelphian, but they have quite a few fingers pointing back at themselves.
Jesus then gives something close to a warning: That He will come quickly, and hold fast to what they have so that no one takes their crown. He follows with the awesome promise that those who endure and overcome will become pillars in “the temple of my God.”