Revelation 3:8-13

Revelation 3:8-10

The Church of Philadelphia, is a church that though did not seem extraordinarily strong, was able to do some wonderful things in the name of Christ. It reminds us of the verse, in our weakness he is made strong. Jesus Christ speaks to this church, not to scold them but to instead to give them encouragement. Just because they were not the biggest, or the wealthiest, did not mean that the Lord did not notice them. Here was a church that loved the Lord and made what they had count.

Verse 8
“I know thy works”
· As the Lord speaks to them, he shares with them that he knows their works.
· Works serve as a testament of our relationship with Christ, we must remember that works do not save us, but if we are saved, we will work.
· A person that professes to be a Christian, and does not want to work, does not want to serve, does not want to do anything for the Lord, is that person really in a relationship with Christ?
· Jesus does not miss any work that we do for him, he sees it and he knows it, he does not forget it.
“Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:”
· The Lord had given the church at Philadelphia opportunity to serve him, to work for him. It was the Lord that provided this open door.
· We can illustrate what the Lord is saying by this example; when men and women go to get hire for a job, more times than not, they are hired because there has been a door of opportunity given to them there. Normally it is someone they know who is on the inside that has given that door of opportunity. Now, those doors can be shut, it could be that the company does not want to hire us, and the opportunity is closed, but this is not so with Christ. When he opens the door, he will not allow any man to shut it. It is an opportunity that we can go right through because the Lord opened it for us.
· What are the opportunities, the door that the Lord has open for us as a church? He has given us the ability to reach this community like never, and the world can not stop it. All we must do is seize the opportunity.
“For thou hast a little strength,”
· Philadelphia may not have a large congregation, or a lot of resources to pull from, but what they had was strength. They did not fold to the pressure of the world, the ungodliness that was paraded in front of them daily. They remain strong, even if it was just a little strength.
· I once had an old house in the front yard of my property, I wanted to tear it down, and slowly we began to tear it down with a bobcat, but when it looked like it was on the verge of falling over, there was still a remaining wall that kept the roof up and prevented it from falling. It was not super strong, but it had a little strength to remain. This is what the church of Philadelphia is like.
· Look, the world has chopped at this church hard over the past year, it may seem like the church is going to collapse, but I want you to know if we will remain strong for Jesus, opportunity will present itself to us, because we have chosen to remain faithful with a little, God is going to bless us with more.
“And hast kept my word,”
· Here is one of the keys to strength, keeping the word of God. Listen we can never compromise the word. We must remain true and faithful to it. That it is our source of strength and food that we are fed upon.
· Man is trying to destroy the word; they are re-writing it. They are changing it to fit what he desires but listen we must keep the word as Jesus has given it to us. That we do not neglect one jot or tittle, that we keep the word of God sacred and holy, and the source from which we preach from.
· Philadelphia was in a area where there was multiple religions to follow, false gods to worship, other words to believe in, but the church of Philadelphia didn’t mix the word of God with the ways of the world. They kept it true and stuck to what the Lord had said.
“And hast not denied my name.”
· We are living in a time just like Philadelphia was in, a time where you either stand for him or against him. You cannot straddle the fence, yet so many people try to play both sides.
· Where nationally known individuals who claim to believe in Jesus, when confronted about their belief, they roll over and try to be neutral, so people will continue to like them and follow them. Listen, they have denied the name of Christ and are nothing more than charlatans in the pulpit.
· Philadelphia did not deny the name of Christ. They stood firm, even when it was not well liked by the world. They did not give in and neither should we.
Verse 9
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie;”
· Not everyone in the church is who they say they are. Not everyone is truly a believer. Some of the most prestigious, or older ones in the church may not be a true follower of Christ. Here in the church of Philadelphia was a group of people who claimed to be something that they were not.
· This would be like people today, if you went up to them and ask them, are you a Christian, they would probably say yes. But they never go to church, they never read their bible, they never have any fellowship with Christ or other believers, yet they are a Christian. They lie.
· Here were people in the Philadelphia area that claim to be Jews, that they believed in God but in reality their god was nothing more than Satan, they were not believers, they were not who they said they were.
· Sadly, this situation continues today. That a people believe that they are God’s people, but they are so far away from the truth.
“Behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”
· Obviously, there was a group of individuals who thought themselves to be Jews and were trying to force their ways on the those in the Philadelphia church, they were just a clique of ungodly men trying to run the church.
· The Lord sees these groups and promises to deal with them. In this instance, the Lord tells the church that this group will come and bow down at their feet. Those who were trying to get the church to bow down to their will, will instead bow down to the church.
· Wicked man may think they can overpower the church with their lies and ill will, but in the end, it is the Lord who will have the victory.
· With those who had caused so many problems for the Philadelphia church being defeated, the Lord has proven his love for this church.
Verse 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.”
· Now the Lord gives a promise to the church of Philadelphia, and in essence, to all who believe. This is a promise of protection.
· This is a verse that alludes to what many Christians believe to be the rapture. By rescuing the faithful from the hour of temptation. This hour of temptation is the moment of the antichrist and his time here on earth. The great tribulation will be a time of great peril and where many people will believe the lie of Satan and will follow him.
· Satan’s reign will be harsh upon the world, yet for the Christian, they will be able to escape this by the Lord protecting them and rapturing them out of the world.
· Examples of rapture have occurred in the scripture, with Enoch and Elijah, these men were taken out of the world before death came upon them. And in like manner, those who are believers and followers of Christ, will be taken out as well.
· The hour of temptation is coming, and it may be closer than what we think. We must be prepared, and that means standing strong now for the Lord. Not giving in to the pressures of society and not compromise the word of God.
· The hour of temptation, or great tribulation will come and affect the whole world. There will be no country that will be immune from it during this time. This time is referred to as a time of trying.
· Hopefully, many people will see the lie during this time and will come to know Jesus. For us here today we must be ready now, so we do not see that awful time come in our life.
Verse 11
“Behold, I come quickly”
· As we enter verse 11, we find another repeated word that has resonated in this section. That is the word “behold”. Here the Lord wants us to see what he says will come to pass and are not empty words. In this instance, he tells us that I come quickly.
· Coming from verse 10, that the Lord will keep his church away from the tribulation period, the Lord follows this up by saying that this return will be very soon.
· Now we must understand the concept of time is different than for us, the Lord has said in the scripture, 2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
· Time does not affect the Lord, but for us, we become complacent and relaxed to the idea of the Lord’s return, so much, that many will be unprepared when he comes.
· I have heard people say, I will get right with Jesus when He comes back, listen there will be no time for that, this moment, this quick moment will be upon people before they realize it and then it will be too late.
· Others in the world hear the ministers and churches proclaiming this, but it is met with disbelief. They truly have become like what we read in 2 Peter 3:4 “And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
· We must not let impatience lead to disbelief, Jesus is coming again, and it will be soon.
“Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
· Now when the Lord is referring to the crown, it is easily assumed that this is the crown of life that he is referring too, however, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
· John 10:28 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
· Based off John 10:28, we know that this is not the crown of life that the Lord is referring too, then what crown is it?
· Well, the scripture does refer to rewards that will be given to the believer, and we can assume that some of these rewards can be crowns as well.
o Matthew 5:12
o 1 Corinthians 3:14
o James 1:12
o 1 Peter 5:4
· We can let people take our crowns when we allow the flesh to rise and give in to sin. We must be cautious that we watch our life and the steps we take, and the things we say, because if we are not careful, we will lose the crown that the Lord refers to here in this verse.
Verse 12
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,”
· Jesus now shares with us another promise, this being to the believer. Now the Lord refers to us as being pillars in the temple. Now to understand this, first we must understand that there is no temple in the New Jerusalem.
· So, what the Lord is likely referring to us, is in the fact that we are the temple of God now, as we are saved from our sins, the Lord takes residence in our lives, thus making us living temples of God. This of course will all come together as the saints are gathered before the Lord in Heaven.
· So, this most likely is referencing a symbolic temple that will be established in the New Jerusalem, comprised not of brick and mortar, but by the saints that live for the Lord.
“And he shall go no more out:”
· Just before the Lord ascended into Heaven, he gave the great commission to the church. Found in Matthew 28, the Lord says these words in verse 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:”
· When this occurs in the scripture, there will be no more going out, there will be no more witnessing that will need to occur, there will be no more people getting saved. So, when we are there with Jesus and he has established his kingdom, this will all cease.
· Now, this time has not occurred yet, but many people seem to have quit going out. Listen, the job remains, and we must not quit.
“And I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem”
· The believer who follows the Lord will be sealed by God with the name of God. The question was asked by Moses in the Book of Exodus, what is thy name, and the Lord gave the simple name of I AM.
· The I AM will be completed when it is written upon our life.
· As we are born into this world, we are given a name that identifies us as an individual and as a family. That family name will be known throughout the ages as the kingdom is established with the family of God.
· In addition, not only the name is given but where we are from will be given to us as well. You will no longer be known from the earthly city you dwell in, but you will be from the new city that will be our home, the New Jerusalem.
· There will be no question of identity when we have then name of God and place of residence, this will be the identity.
“Which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”
· The cities of this earth will not be the final residence of the saints, they are marred and will not compare to the city that Christ has prepared for his bride, the church. This city built in Heaven, will be brought from Heaven, and established on this earth, as part of the New Earth.
· This city will be extraordinary, and beyond anything that man can build. This city will be the final residence for the child of God.
· In addition, the church is told that the Lord will write upon them a new name. This is a mystery of what this name will be, it is some unrevealed aspect of Jesus.
· The name is hinted at, but is never revealed in the scripture, but this will be revealed, in this final time.
Verse 13
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”
· In similar fashion, the Lord closes out this letter to Philadelphia as he did with the rest of the churches.
· The invitation is the same, and it remains the same even today, listen to what the Lord has said to you and respond to him with your heart.
· It is sad, that so many people are not listening, do not be one of them. Make sure you are listening to what the Lord has said and be prepared for the day is soon coming.

Bible References

Revelation 3:8-13

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

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