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Keeping On Till Kept & Gone, Part 3 (Rev. 3:7-13)

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Revelation 3:7–13 KJV 1900
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.

Introduction:

a
CXXXIX. Philadelphia. Chap. 3:7–13
1 Thus saith the holy One and true,
To his beloved, faithful few,
“Of heav’n and hell I hold the keys,
To shut, or open, as I please.
2 I know thy works, and I approve,
Though small thy strength, sincere thy love;
Go on, my word and name to own,
For none shall rob thee of thy crown.
3 Before thee see my mercy’s door
Stands open wide to shut no more;
Fear not temptation’s fiery day,
For I will be thy strength and stay.
4 Thou hast my promise, hold it fast,
The trying hour will soon be past;
Rejoice, for, lo! I quickly come,
To take thee to my heav’nly home.
5 A pillar there, no more to move.
Inscrib’d with all my names of love;
A monument of mighty grace,
Thou shalt for ever have a place.”
6 Such is the conqueror’s reward,
Prepar’d and promisd by the Lord!
Let him that hath the ear of faith
Attend to what the Spirit saith.
[John Newton and Richard Cecil, The Works of John Newton, vol. 3 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 459–460.]
Main Thought: As God's Church, let us keep on keeping on for the Gospel until we're caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Sub-intro:
a
The situation of the city fully explains this saying. Philadelphia lay at the upper extremity of a long valley, which opens back from the sea. After passing Philadelphia the road along this valley ascends to the Phrygian land and the great Central Plateau, the main mass of Asia Minor. This road was the one which led from the harbour of Smyrna to the north-eastern parts of Asia Minor and the East in general, the one rival to the great route connecting Ephesus with the East, and the greatest Asian trade-route of mediæval times. The Imperial Post Road from Rome to the Provinces farther east and south-east coincided for some considerable distance with this trade-route. Through Troas, Pergamum, Thyatira, it reached Sardis; and from thence it was identical with the trade-route by Philadelphia up to the centre of Phrygia. Along this great route the new influence was steadily moving eastwards from Philadelphia in the strong current of communication that set from Rome across Phrygia towards the distant East.... Philadelphia, therefore, was the keeper of the gateway to the plateau.... [W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia and Their Place in the Plan of the Apocalypse (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904), 404–405.]
The Imperial Post Road from Rome to the Provinces farther east and south-east coincided for some considerable distance with this trade-route. Through Troas, Pergamum, Thyatira, it reached Sardis; and from thence it was identical with the trade-route by Philadelphia up to the centre of Phrygia. Along this great route the new influence was steadily moving eastwards from Philadelphia in the strong current of communication that set from Rome across Phrygia towards the distant East.... Philadelphia, therefore, was the keeper of the gateway to the plateau.... [W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia and Their Place in the Plan of the Apocalypse (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904), 404–405.]
Philadelphia, therefore, was the keeper of the gateway to the plateau.... [W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia and Their Place in the Plan of the Apocalypse (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904), 404–405.]
W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia and Their Place in the Plan of the Apocalypse (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904), 404–405.]
Body:

I. Christ's Message to the Pastor of the Local Church at Philadelphia ().

A. Christ's Characteristics ().

Revelation 3:7 KJV 1900
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;
a
The first thing that strikes us is not what the Lord does or has, but what the Lord is Himself. [William Kelly, Lectures on the Book of Revelation (London: T. Weston, 1903), 67.]
William Kelly, Lectures on the Book of Revelation (London: T. Weston, 1903), 67.]
1. His Holiness.
Daniel 9:24 KJV 1900
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Dan. 9:
Hebrews 7:25–26 KJV 1900
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Heb. 7:
2. His Truth.
1 John 5:20–21 KJV 1900
20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
3. His Dominion.
Romans 1:3 KJV 1900
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Romans 1:2–5 KJV 1900
2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Romans 1:2–4 KJV 1900
2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
a. His Unmatchable Power to Open.
b. His Unmatchable Power to Shut.
a
“He that hath the key of David.” This is different from the keys of hades and death which we saw in chapter 1, verse 18. This speaks of His regal claims as the Ruler of this universe. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” ().
Luke 1:32–33 KJV 1900
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary, electronic ed., vol. 5 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 917.]
He will sit on the throne of David in the Millennium, but today He is sovereign, sitting at His Father’s right hand, waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool. [J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary, electronic ed., vol. 5 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 917.]

B. Christ's Considerations ().

1. Behold... the Open Door ().

Revelation 3:8 KJV 1900
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.
a
8. I have setGreek, “given”: it is My gracious gift to thee. [Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 560.]
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 560.]

a. Future Opportunity for Testimony.

a
Just as Philadelphia was in a geographically ideal location for both commercial intercourse and the “evangelization” of Asia with Dionysianism, the Lord had placed His candlestick in this wonderful opportune place for biblical evangelism. He it is that gives and takes away the opportunities for His purposes, as Asaph stated, saying, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” (). The Apostle Paul had recognized that the Lord was the great “Door Opener,” stating, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (),
1 Corinthians 16:9 KJV 1900
9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 159–160.]
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord” (),
2 Corinthians 2:12 KJV 1900
12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
and “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” ().
Colossians 4:3 KJV 1900
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:
As a matter of fact, the Lord Jesus Christ has authorized His baptizing assembly to carry out His work wherever the Lord opens the door (; ; ; ). [Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 159–160.]
Matthew 16:18–19 KJV 1900
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 18:19–20 KJV 1900
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Mt. 18:
Matthew 28:18–20 KJV 1900
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mt. 28:
Acts 13:46–48 KJV 1900
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

b. Present Occasion of Testimony.

a
How many of our churches are strategically located? Many. In fact, most are strategically located. Some sit right in the heart of cities where teeming thousands of people live. Others sit on the main roads of cities, and others on the main roads of country and farm areas. Why then are so many of our churches not reaching out in the thrust of evangelism and missions? Why are so few of the lost being won to Christ? The church that is alive and faithful is a church that uses the open door of evangelism and missions. The believers are a people who witness and do all they can to reach the lost for Christ:
⇒ They go house to house.
⇒ They witness to fellow laborers, neighbors, friends, and family.
⇒ They are always looking for opportunities to witness and share Christ.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” ().
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” ().
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” ().
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” ().
“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” ().
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” ().
“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” ().
“And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” ().
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” ().
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord” ().
“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” ().
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” ().
“I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses” ().
“I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses” ().
“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” ().
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name” ().
[Leadership Ministries Worldwide, Revelation, The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible (Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1996), 62.]
i. A Little Strength.
a
The small but faithful flock at Philadelphia must have been dear to the Saviour, since His ecclesia was “little,” as He stated, saying, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” ().
Luke 12:32 KJV 1900
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Christ’s small flock was given the greatest responsibility of preaching the kingdom message, and “turned the world upside down” (cf. ).
Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 161.]
Acts 17:6 KJV 1900
6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
Luke 12:32 KJV 1900
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Little is much with the Lord, as He demonstrated in His miracles (cf. ; ). [Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 161.]
There shall come a day when it will be found that the minorities have generally saved both the world and the church. A struggling few may reckon themselves to be the majority when they stand alone with God, for he counts for more than all the myriads of the earth put together. The faithful, staunch, God-fearing men that would not budge an inch, or change a letter, or shape a syllable, to please all the kings and princes of the earth, shall be found to praise and honour in the day of the Lord’s appearing. [C. H. Spurgeon, “Commendation for the Steadfast,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 30 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1884), 678.]
C. H. Spurgeon, “Commendation for the Steadfast,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 30 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1884), 678.]
It is not the size or strength of a church that determines its ministry, but faith in the call and command of the Lord. “God’s commandments are God’s enablements.” If Jesus Christ gave them an open door, then He would see to it that they were able to walk through it! Martin Luther put it perfectly in his well-known hymn:
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing.
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing.
[Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 578.]
ii. Keeping Christ's Word.
a
Local church members are the means by which God has determined to preserve His Scriptures. The OT preservation responsibility fell upon the Lord’s churches after God was through using Israel as His depository (). His NT assemblies received, believed, preserved, and propagated the Scriptures, as Paul, for example, enjoined the Colossians, saying, “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea” (). [Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 162–163.]
Colossians 4:16 KJV 1900
16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 162–163.]
Keep to the truth, and the modern school will give you a wide berth. But if any of you try the double-shuffle in religion—the plan of trying to believe a little of everything and not much of anything—if you try to hold with the hare and run with the hounds, you will be tempted to deadly error, and it will serve you right. In the temptation you will fall, for indeed you are fallen already. Keep the word of God, and the word of God will keep you. You will be shielded from half the temptations that fret and worry professors if you take your place and keep it against all comers. [C. H. Spurgeon, “Commendation for the Steadfast,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 30 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1884), 683.]
[C. H. Spurgeon, “Commendation for the Steadfast,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 30 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1884), 683.]
iii. Confessing His Name.
a
Did we in our own strength confide,
See here the personal links—“my word,” and “my name.” The name of Christ apprehended by the soul is salvation; but it is much more; it is all. When the heart is brought down to submit to God’s judgment of its sin, He Himself brings before that soul. Christ’s name; when it finds that it has no name in which to stand before God, He says, Here is a name, My Son’s name. Faith supposes a man giving himself up as a good-for-nothing, and saying, “God has been good to me, when I was only bad for Him.” God has laid down this name as a foundation-stone for the poor sinner. [William Kelly, Lectures on the Book of Revelation (London: T. Weston, 1903), 74.]
Our striving would be losing.
Were not the right Man on our side,
William Kelly, Lectures on the Book of Revelation (London: T. Weston, 1903), 74.]
The Man of God’s own choosing.
[Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 578.]

2. Behold... the Opposing Deceiver ().

Revelation 3:9 KJV 1900
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.
Revelation 3:9 KJV 1900
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.

a. Satan's Synagogue.

i. Their False Profession.
a
But Satan not merely tempts men to sin by insinuating doubts of God’s Word, he also has his synagogues and ministers among men to do his work. ...What I wish you to notice here are the words, “The synagogue of Satan.” In this case it was a Jewish synagogue, but now-a-days, it is often a so-called Christian church. In , we have an even more remarkable passage: ...

Conclusion:

2 Corinthians 11:14–15 KJV 1900
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
[Reuben Archer Torrey, The Fundamental Doctrines of the Christian Faith (New York George H.: Doran company, 1918), 276–277.]
Here we are told that Satan has his ministers. They do not advertise themselves as ministers of Satan, oftentimes they are not even conscious that they are; but they put themselves forward as “ministers of righteousness.” They advocate “ethical culture,” a system of salvation without atoning blood. They are frequently men of very attractive personality and great intellectual brilliance and ability, but they are doing the Devil’s work. Satan is never so dangerous as when he “Fashioneth himself into an angel of light,” and no other ministers of his are so dangerous as the men and women of attractive personality and brilliant intellectual gifts who are undermining the faith of God’s children, or who are teaching various forms of seductive and alluring error, “Christian Science,” “New Thought,” “Theosophy,” “Occultism” (Spiritualism), and all that species of cults. [Reuben Archer Torrey, The Fundamental Doctrines of the Christian Faith (New York George H.: Doran company, 1918), 276–277.]
ii. Their Fateful Condition.
iii. Their Flat-out Deception.
a
Men can have truth or lies, whichever they prefer. If they will to do God’s will, He will give them truth (), and the Spirit will guide them ultimately into all the truth. () But if men will not have truth Satan will lead them step by step into all manner of delusion and falsehood. [R. A. Torrey, What the Bible Teaches a Thorough and Comprehensive Study of What the Bible Has to Say Concerning the Great Doctrines of Which It Treats (New York, Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1898), 530.]
[R. A. Torrey, What the Bible Teaches a Thorough and Comprehensive Study of What the Bible Has to Say Concerning the Great Doctrines of Which It Treats (New York, Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1898), 530.]

b. The Savior's Strength.

a
Satan himself cannot withstand such strength. Goliath could not withstand David, nor the armies of the Philistines Jonathan and his armor-bearer. It was that strength that shook the walls of Jericho and they tottered and fell. Unquestionably Satan is more than a match for mortal man; and his strength so far surpasses ours, that woe to the man who meets him unaided. But when God is with us, the path clears; the devil himself retreats. “Impossible” is stricken from the dictionary! [William Bell Riley, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist, New Testament, Revelation Vol. 1, vol. 19, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist (Union Gospel Press, 1932), .]
Unquestionably Satan is more than a match for mortal man; and his strength so far surpasses ours, that woe to the man who meets him unaided. But when God is with us, the path clears; the devil himself retreats. “Impossible” is stricken from the dictionary! [William Bell Riley, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist, New Testament, Revelation Vol. 1, vol. 19, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist (Union Gospel Press, 1932), .]
William Bell Riley, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist, New Testament, Revelation Vol. 1, vol. 19, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist (Union Gospel Press, 1932), .]
i. His Kingship.
a
Christ expanded on His promise to the Philadelphians, with three subjunctive aorist verbs following His future tense .... He promised that these Jews might “come” ...,534 might “worship” ...,535 and might “know” ....536 Presumably, the Jews would come from their synagogue to the Philadelphia écclesia and worship the Lord Jesus Christ in the “presence” (... literally “in the presence of or before your feet”)537 of these Christians. The Lord may have harkened back to the truth of the prophecy of Isaiah, saying, “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” ().
534 Cf. v. 3. This is the only NT occasion of the subjunctive aorist, third person, plural form of `h´kw. 535 Of the 60x that proskunéw is used in the NT, this is the first of 24x in Revelation. 536 Vide v. 3. 537 Obviously, the Lord would not require the Jews to worship Christians, but the Christian’s Christ—Jesus of Nazareth (cf. )! {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 165.}]
Isaiah 60:14 KJV 1900
14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; And all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; And they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Is. 6014
535 Of the 60x that proskunéw is used in the NT, this is the first of 24x in Revelation. 536 Vide v. 3. 537 Obviously, the Lord would not require the Jews to worship Christians, but the Christian’s Christ—Jesus of Nazareth (cf. )! {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 165.}]
536 Vide v. 3. 537 Obviously, the Lord would not require the Jews to worship Christians, but the Christian’s Christ—Jesus of Nazareth (cf. )! {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 165.}]
537 Obviously, the Lord would not require the Jews to worship Christians, but the Christian’s Christ—Jesus of Nazareth (cf. )! {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 165.}]
The prophet’s prediction would be reversed here, but ultimately Paul’s declaration to the Philippians shall be reality: “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” ().
Philippians 2:10 KJV 1900
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
{Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 165.}]
Furthermore, these Jews, delivered “from the power of darkness” and “translated…into the kingdom of his dear Son” (),
Colossians 1:13 KJV 1900
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col
would know that the Lord Jesus “loved” ... the Philadelphian church. [534 Cf. v. 3. This is the only NT occasion of the subjunctive aorist, third person, plural form of `ékw. 535 Of the 60x that proskunéw is used in the NT, this is the first of 24x in Revelation. 536 Vide v. 3. 537 Obviously, the Lord would not require the Jews to worship Christians, but the Christian’s Christ—Jesus of Nazareth (cf. )! {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 165.}]
ii. His Compassion.
a
behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet; the conversion of the Jews is here intended. ...the sense is, that the convinced and converted Jews shall come to the church, and in the most lowly and contrite manner acknowledge their former blindness, furious zeal, and violent hatred of the Christians, and shall profess their faith in Christ; shall join themselves to the church, and partake of the ordinances of the Gospel with them; and shall worship God and Jesus Christ, their Lord and King, in their presence, and at their feet: and to know that I have loved thee; the Gentile church, and the members of it, in assuming human nature, and dying for, and redeeming them, as well as the Jews; in sending his Gospel to them, and calling them by his grace, and planting them into Gospel churches; giving them a place, and a name in his house, better than that of sons and daughters. [John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament, vol. 3, The Baptist Commentary Series (London: Mathews and Leigh, 1809), 711.]
John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament, vol. 3, The Baptist Commentary Series (London: Mathews and Leigh, 1809), 711.]

3. Because... the Opportune Deliverance ().

Revelation 3:10 KJV 1900
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.
a
The Great Tribulation - Continuing with greater detail the Old Testament predictions concerning the great tribulation, the New Testament is both explicit and extensive here. Christ spoke of that time in relation to Israel (), the Apostle Paul writes of it in its relation to the forces of evil (), while the Apostle John records at length the tremendous divine program which will be enacted in those days (; ). In this brief period which probably lasts at most but seven years (; and shortened a little, ), judgments are accomplished in the earth, the forces of evil are first released and then terminated, while both ecclesiastical and political Babylon are destroyed. [Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993), 388.]
Continuing with greater detail the Old Testament predictions concerning the great tribulation, the New Testament is both explicit and extensive here. Christ spoke of that time in relation to Israel (), the Apostle Paul writes of it in its relation to the forces of evil (), while the Apostle John records at length the tremendous divine program which will be enacted in those days (; ). In this brief period which probably lasts at most but seven years (; and shortened a little, ), judgments are accomplished in the earth, the forces of evil are first released and then terminated, while both ecclesiastical and political Babylon are destroyed. [Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993), 388.]
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993), 388.]
a. The Timing.
a
This promise of preservation, then, is either from the Tribulation by “protection” or by “exclusion.” The preposition ék can imply “protection” as in , which states, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” However, ék in the context of Revelation does not mean “protection” since multitudes of believers will be slain during the Tribulation (). Furthermore, the greater context of Scripture prohibits the interpretation that church age saints will go through the Tribulation. For instance, Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy heptads had no relevance to the church age saints (), and Paul confirmed this interpretation by teaching that the catching away (i.e., Rapture) of NT saints will occur before “the Day of the Lord”546 (). Therefore, the preposition ék refers to preservation by exclusion, meaning that the church age saints will be caught away in the Rapture before the Tribulation.547 [546 Cf. ; . 547 Vide the classic work by Gerald Stanton, Kept From the Hour (Haysville, NC: Schoettle Publ. Co., 1991), 434 pp. {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 167–168.}]
546 Cf. ; . 547 Vide the classic work by Gerald Stanton, Kept From the Hour (Haysville, NC: Schoettle Publ. Co., 1991), 434 pp. {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 167–168.}]
547 Vide the classic work by Gerald Stanton, Kept From the Hour (Haysville, NC: Schoettle Publ. Co., 1991), 434 pp. {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 167–168.}]
Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 167–168.}]
God gave a second promise for faithful, patient endurance. He promised the Christians in this church that they would not go through the Tribulation period (). He promised to keep them from the hour of testing. The combination of the verb and the preposition in Greek in this verse clearly means that He would keep them out of it (the pretribulation position). It does not mean He would preserve them through it (the posttribulation position) or remove them during it (the midtribulation position). [Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), .]
Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), .]
Note - Other New Testament passages also teach a pretribulation Rapture (e.g., ; ; ; ).
b. The Target.
a
He would keep them from Tribulation (). This is surely a reference to the time of Tribulation that John described in , “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” This is not speaking about some local trial, because it involves “them that dwell on the earth” (see ; ; ; ; , , ; ; , ). The immediate reference would be to the official Roman persecutions that would come, but the ultimate reference is to the Tribulation that will encompass the earth before Jesus Christ returns to establish His kingdom. In many Bible scholars’ understanding, is a promise that the church will not go through the Tribulation, but will be taken to heaven before it begins (see ). The admonition, “Behold, I come quickly,” would strengthen this view. [Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 579.]
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 579.]
c. The Testing.
a
The believer has a blessed hope. How the devil would like to take that away from us in these dark days, and how he has succeeded in deluding many Christians into looking for the Tribulation instead of the coming of the Lord! If the Church must pass through the Tribulation, then the Church is looking for the Antichrist instead of the Christ, for the Antichrist will reign during the Tribulation. Where, then, is the blessed hope? What, then, is this blessed hope? It is this: we are expecting and looking for the Lord Jesus Christ to come before the Antichrist is revealed. Friend, what is your blessed hope? One of these days the Lord is coming and then everything will depend upon what you do with Him now. [M. R. De Haan, The Second Coming of Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 51–52.]
Friend, what is your blessed hope? One of these days the Lord is coming and then everything will depend upon what you do with Him now. [M. R. De Haan, The Second Coming of Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 51–52.]
[M. R. De Haan, The Second Coming of Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 51–52.]

4. Behold... the Occasion for Diligence ().

Revelation 3:11 KJV 1900
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
a. Secure Thy Possessions.
a
Hold that fast which thou hast - We can only hold fast what we have by constantly using it. If we have a measure of love, we must daily study the means of manifesting it. It is easily recovered from yesterday, but not from the day before. If we have joy, we must persevere in rejoicing; every day must have its spiritual joy. Our peace too, we must daily see to it that it is with us. So with long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Each day is to be considered a stage, and we must ascertain regularly that none of our treasures have been left behind. Christians are ready to think, until they have learned the contrary, that their graces are safe when they are slumbering, but their slumber is fatal. Whatever we would retain we must keep near our consciousness; our will, our memory, our understanding, all must be conversant with it. - bowen. [D. L. Moody, One Thousand and One Thoughts from My Library (New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell, 1898), 383.]
We can only hold fast what we have by constantly using it. If we have a measure of love, we must daily study the means of manifesting it. It is easily recovered from yesterday, but not from the day before. If we have joy, we must persevere in rejoicing; every day must have its spiritual joy. Our peace too, we must daily see to it that it is with us. So with long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Each day is to be considered a stage, and we must ascertain regularly that none of our treasures have been left behind. Christians are ready to think, until they have learned the contrary, that their graces are safe when they are slumbering, but their slumber is fatal. Whatever we would retain we must keep near our consciousness; our will, our memory, our understanding, all must be conversant with it.
bowen.
D. L. Moody, One Thousand and One Thoughts from My Library (New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell, 1898), 383.
b. Strive for Thy Crown.
a
The crown here is the victor’s crown, the wreath from winning the games. We should be much more zealous than worldly athletes for an eternal prize. [Stewart Custer, From Patmos to Paradise: A Commentary on Revelation (Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 2004), 41.]
[Stewart Custer, From Patmos to Paradise: A Commentary on Revelation (Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 2004), 41.]

II. Christ's Mark Upon the Conqueror Who Overcomes ().

Revelation 3:12 KJV 1900
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.
a
“When Solomon built the temple following his ascension to the throne, he had a worker of brass from Tyre construct two massive pillars for the porch. Solomon named one of these pillars ‘Jachin,’ meaning establish, and he named the other pillar ‘Boaz,’ meaning strength (). The overcomers in Philadelphia were promised future positions with Christ which appear to be described by the meanings of the names given to these two pillars. The promise to the overcomers that they would ‘go no more out’ refers to their fixed position as pillars in the temple; and with the two massive pillars in Solomon’s temple in view, saying that overcoming Christians will be placed in the position of pillars in the temple is the same as saying that these Christians will occupy sure, secure, firmly established positions of strength and power, positions which will be realized when they rule and reign as co-heirs with Christ in the [millennial] kingdom.”171 [171 171. Chitwood, p. 101. Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), .]
171 171. Chitwood, p. 101.
Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), .]

A. God's Name Written.

B. The New City's Name Written.

Ezekiel 48:35 KJV 1900
It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.
a
Scripture already revealed the divine name of the Millennial city, stating, “It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there ().
Ezekiel 48:35 KJV 1900
35 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.
[566 The doctrine of “Immanuel” (“God with us”) or the presence of the Lord is very important to the believer (cf. ; ). {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 174.}]
The name “the LORD is there” ... will be stamped upon every believer indicating “Jehovah shammah”—the eternal presence of God.566 [566 The doctrine of “Immanuel” (“God with us”) or the presence of the Lord is very important to the believer (cf. ; ). {Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 174.}]
{Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 174.}]
A pillar is something permanent. They will obtain the one thing which David desired ().
Psalm 27:4 KJV 1900
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
No earthquake will ever fill them with fear or drive them out of the heavenly city. They will abide there. [William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1967), 75.]
The Revelation of Jesus Christ The Letter to Philadelphia: The Church Faithful to Christ (3:7-13)

The expression “new Jerusalem” is a reference to the future eternal city described in Revelation 21 and 22. Some like Trench spiritualize the city and deplore the concept that the city will actually come down from heaven. The new Jerusalem, however, will probably be just as literal as the new heaven and the new earth.15

No earthquake will ever fill them with fear or drive them out of the heavenly city. They will abide there. [William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1967), 75.]
William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1967), 75.]
a
The expression “new Jerusalem” is a reference to the future eternal city described in and 22. Some like Trench spiritualize the city and deplore the concept that the city will actually come down from heaven. The new Jerusalem, however, will probably be just as literal as the new heaven and the new earth.15 [15 15. Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia, p. 246. {John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Galaxie Software, 2008), 89.}]
[15 15. Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia, p. 246. John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Galaxie Software, 2008), 89.]
John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Galaxie Software, 2008), 89.]

C. The Son's New Name Written.

a
And I will write upon him my new name; either the name of Jehovah our righteousness; or rather the name of King of kings, and Lord of lords, which Christ will now acquire, or at least this will now be made more manifest upon the destruction of antichrist, in this church-state; in which conquest he will make all his people sharers, and they shall now more openly appear to be kings, and to reign with him in his spiritual kingdom. [John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament, vol. 3, The Baptist Commentary Series (London: Mathews and Leigh, 1809), 712.]
John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament, vol. 3, The Baptist Commentary Series (London: Mathews and Leigh, 1809), 712.]

III. The Spirit's Mystery Revealed to the Spiritual Hearer in Christ's Churches ().

Revelation 3:13 KJV 1900
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
a
’Twas in 1854, off Lime Rock Lighthouse, New Port, R. I., that a cat-boat, containing four young men was capsized. Keeper Lewis was not at home, and his sick wife could do nothing. But as a little daughter, Ida, 12 years old, looked out upon the cold waves, swept by a terrible storm, and saw now and then the up-turned cat-boat rise upon a crest to quickly disappear in a trough, she knew that the four men could not long cling. She flung herself into a small boat, and, daring death, went to the rescue. God was with her and she brought the four safely to land. In later years she rescued nine others. Ah, that is our work, —to save the sinking. And if, through the power of Christ, we compass it, —saviours, shall be the name by which we shall be known in Heaven. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches”. [William Bell Riley, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist, New Testament, Revelation Vol. 1, vol. 19, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist (Union Gospel Press, 1932), .]
William Bell Riley, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist, New Testament, Revelation Vol. 1, vol. 19, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist (Union Gospel Press, 1932), .]

Conclusion:

3 Before thee see my mercy’s door
Stands open wide to shut no more;
Fear not temptation’s fiery day,
For I will be thy strength and stay.
4 Thou hast my promise, hold it fast,
The trying hour will soon be past;
Rejoice, for, lo! I quickly come,
To take thee to my heav’nly home.
5 A pillar there, no more to move.
Inscrib’d with all my names of love;
A monument of mighty grace,
Thou shalt for ever have a place.”
6 Such is the conqueror’s reward,
Prepar’d and promisd by the Lord!
Let him that hath the ear of faith
Attend to what the Spirit saith.
[John Newton]
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