These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 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. 9 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. – Revelation 3:7-13
In the previous post, I discussed the message Christ’s angel – through the Apostle John – had for the angel of the congregation in Sardis.
Note: The angels of each the congregations are essentially the congregations themselves. Each congregation has an angel – a messenger – assigned over them. These angels or messengers are human. Each congregation angel appears to be an organized composite or group of individuals who have the assignment to pass down to the members within their respective congregations the thing s Christ’s angel gives to the Apostle John to pass on to them. That John is told to “write” strongly suggests that the angels over the congregations are human. Not only that, each Angel of the congregations will have the responsibility to know what is written to the other congregations and share those things with their congregation. That is why we see the expression, “Let THEM hear what the Spirit says to the CONGREGATIONS.” – Revelation 2:29; Revelation 3:6
The human angels/messengers of the congregations are representative of the actual congregations themselves and are members of the congregations. They just have great responsibilities. Thus, when speaking of “the angels of the congregations” we are also speaking of “the congregations” themselves.
Expressions such as “Seven Lamp Stands, Seven Spirits, Seven Stars, Seven Eyes, and Seven Horns” mean the same thing: THE ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CONGREGATIONS. (See Revelation 4:5 and Revelation 5:6)
Moving on …
You learned that the congregation in Sardis was admonished for making a pretense of being alive and active in its Master’s service. Yet upon examination by the Master Christ Jesus, he found their deeds “unfinished.” They had become lax in their faith and assignment in service to the Master of the Household and they were not “patiently enduring” the trials he warned his household would go through.
Jesus admonishes the Sardis congregation to recall what they were given and taught by him (having been taught by him during his 1000-year kingdom), and to hold fast to those things and repent (feel regret for what they had been doing) and return to doing those things he had taught and instructed.
The congregation in Sardis had let down its guard had become lax. They were not watchful. They did not stay awake and will have allowed the influence of Satan’s Beast, its image, and False Prophet to enter in among them and subtly lead them away from what Christ commanded and taught them. (Luke 21:36)
Jesus tells the angel of the congregation in Sardis that if they do not wake up, he will come to them like a thief (not in the sense of a second coming because he will have already returned) for inspection. You will see later in the discussion of the Revelation that this “coming” has to do with a very important announcement made by an angel that will shake the congregations and also agitate Satan’s throne (The Beast). – Revelation 14:6
Jesus recognizes that there will be some within the Sardis congregation who remained awake; they remembered the the things he taught; and they did not compromise and give in under the pressure of Satan’s throne for them to worship him through his Beast and its image. They “have not soiled their clothes.” They are not marked as supporters or worshipers of Satan’s Beast and image.
Those faithful and unsoiled ones will be found worthy and victorious to the end, will be granted entry into God’s everlasting kingdom when it comes down to the earth. (See Matthew 10:21-22)
Each congregation discussed so far will have unique challenges to deal with because Satan will have been released among all of them for the purpose of misleading them. Misleading them from what? Staying on the path or road Christ placed all of the congregations on! That road leads to everlasting life.
Satan will seek to knock them off that road and put them on another one. A road that leads to destruction. (See Matthew 7:13-14)
Unfortunately, most of the world in those future days will be misled to such an extent, that they will find themselves on that broad and spacious road that leads to destruction.
As you will see later in the discussion of “The Revelation” a powerful message proclaimed by an angel will slap some of the misled out of their slumber. Things then get very interesting. – Revelation 14:6
Now, I turn attention to a sixth congregation, the one in Philadelphia.
To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. -Revelation 3:7
Christ’s angel instructs the Apostle John to write to the angel of the congregation in Philadelphia to assure it that the words of The Master Jesus Christ – who is holy – are true. His words are to be taken seriously, urgently, and are to be heeded!
The angel also assures the angel of the congregation in Philadelphia that Christ Jesus alone holds the key of David. What does this mean?
At Isaiah 22:20-22, God made a covenant (agreement) with David. Eliakim – who was the chief administrator of the affairs of the house of King Hezekiah of Judah – was elevated to a position of trust, honor, and oversight of the king’s chambers was given the key of David. Eliakim had the authority to decide who might be accepted into the service of the king.
The expression “key” symbolizes authority, government, and power.
As Heir to the covenant made with David “for the Kingdom,” Jesus Christ will have been given a kingdom of 1000-years by his Father in heaven. That kingdom – which has not arrived yet – will have run its course and ended and then all of the things written in “The Revelation” will have a start of fulfillment.
I cannot emphasize this enough. The “Revelation by Jesus Christ that God gave him” is a warning to “show his slaves what MUST soon take place” after Christ’s 1000-year kingdom ends and Satan is released from the Abyss. (Revelation 1:1 and Revelation 20:7-8)
Keys lock and unlock doors. That the Master Christ Jesus holds the key of David and that he will have been given all authority; he can grant entry (open) or deny entry (close) entry into God’s everlasting kingdom when it comes down to the earth!
He examines his household (seven congregations) and warns them of what they must do or continue doing if they are to enter into God’s kingdom. Jesus is not unkind and is fully aware of what has been released upon them, Satan the Devil.
Yet, all within those congregations are NOT as we are TODAY. Today, we are “not knowing” of the things we say and do. We have excuse. We are forgiven for such ignorance.
However, at the end of Christ’s 1000-year kingdom, no one will be with an excuse. ALL will KNOW WHAT THEY SAY AND DO. In those days, there will be no more sacrifices for the forgiveness of sin.
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. -Revelation 3:8
Jesus assures the congregation in Philadelphia that he is aware of their deeds and that he has placed before (in front of them) an open door that no one can shut.
Their task is to get to that door. It will not be easy. Satan will have knocked them about so badly they will be on the brink of having little strength to carry on. Their Master Christ Jesus is aware of this.
He knows that they have little strength remaining and that they have remained faithful and kept his word and have not denied his 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. – Revelation 3:9
Jesus also knows wherein all of his household resides: among those who are of the “Synagogue of Satan.” These are persons who will have supported and worshiped Satan’s Beast and image. They are former Brethren and Sisters who were once faithful but give over their loyalty, allegiance, and support to Satan’s Beast and his image. They will prove to be the evil slaves of Christ and will become Judas-like in betraying those unbending in their faith to Jesus. These betrayers will be in the majority in the earth in those days. They will be misled to such an extent, they will believe they are doing a good thing for the benefit of the whole. As you will see later, Satan’s throne will be so beneficial, peaceful, and secure that those dwelling within it will believe it invincible and will not want to see it tampered with or threatened. (Revelation 13:4)
Those “evil slaves” will claim to be “Jews” but are liars because they once knew the truth about God and Christ. They turn and become staunch supporters of The Beast and its image: Satan’s throne.
Note: They will not know that it is Satan that they are supporting. Satan is subtle. It will be as if he does not exist. Like the world today, many have no clue as to who this world and the kingdoms in it belong to, Satan the Devil. No one today sees or hears the Devil. He is rarely mentioned. His influence is in the air manipulating and controlling every aspect of the lives of mankind. This is how it will be in that future world after Christ’s kingdom of 1000-years ends. Christ will have already warned his household of the impending ascension of Satan out of the Abyss after his 1000-year kingdom ends and to “stay awake.” Satan’ ascension will be subtle and largely unnoticed. Only those remembering what Christ had taught them during his 1000-year reign over the earth will recognize subtle deviations from what he taught and will no that Satan has ascended out of the Abyss and brings up out of it his Beast. More on this later in the discussion.
Note: This is not the Jews in the land of Israel today. At the time of the fulfillment of the Revelation, all of the countries/kingdoms today will be long gone. Jews in this context are former members of Christ’s household and who turn and become supporters and worshipers of Satan’s Beast and image. They are the evil slaves. These persons are Judas-like. They will know the truth, but will quickly betray those who do not support the Beast and its image. That is, Satan’s throne on earth which men will run and administer. For the faithful, it will be very difficult to know who to trust in those days.
Jesus assures the congregation in Philadelphia that he is aware of the situation they are in. However, those “evil slaves” will end up knowing who has Christ’s favor and they will be made to acknowledge that.
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. -Revelation 3:10
Most of you know the story about where Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and they found their backs up against the Red Sea. And, with Pharaoh’s army approaching, God protected and provided a means of escape for them. Their “open door” was the Red Sea.
It is apparent that during Christ’s 1000-year kingdom, he will have taught, made aware, and commanded all in his kingdom that when his kingdom ends Satan will be released upon them and that they are to remember the things he taught them and to patiently endure. That he will not forget them.
It is also apparent that the congregation in Philadelphia will have gone through a tremendous amount of persecution, betrayal, and probably death that Christ will spare them from “the hour” of a much greater tribulation that is yet to come upon that whole world.
That trial is called “The Great Tribulation.” It will truly separate the wheat from the weeds. It will mark those who are faithful and those who are unfaithful. It will mark those who are for Satan’s throne and those who are against it.
The congregation in Philadelphia will have proven itself faithful and will not be tested again.
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. -Revelation 3:11
Jesus assures the congregation in Philadelphia that he is coming soon. That is, coming to defend them and protect them from the hour of trial. They are encouraged to hold to the little strength that they have and not allow anyone to cause their faith to waver to the point they relinquish what they have ALREADY earned, a crown of everlasting life. Essentially telling them not to give in to the tremendous pressure Satan and his Beast will place upon them so as to lose out on what they have already earned: entry into God’s Kingdom when it comes down to the earth and a crown of everlasting life.
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. -Revelation 3:12
To the one that faithfully endures – that is, victorious to the end – Jesus will make them a “pillar in the temple of his God!” Wow!
Not only will this congregation be granted entry into God’s everlasting kingdom, but it will also be made a pillar – a monument – within God’s temple. What does this mean?
It means that this congregation will have proven itself as being fully supportive of God’s kingdom. It did not waver in faith despite being pressured by The Beast. It was solid a pillar in support of God’s Kingdom.
This special congregation will forever remain and occupy a place in God’s temple.
Not only that, Jesus will write the name of his God and the name of the city of his God on this congregation!
Teaching/learning point: God’s name has been hidden from all of mankind from the beginning. That is why it is holy. Holy being that it is unknowable, unproducible, and unutterable. If God’s name was knowable, there would be no need to write it upon anyone. What a special honor this congregation will have!
Additionally, the congregation in Philadelphia will the name of the city of his God written upon them because of their faithfulness. The New Jerusalem when it comes down to the earth will have a name. It will not be called New Jerusalem.
And, lastly Jesus himself will have a new name. He will not be known as Jesus. Plus, his role in God’s scheme of things will not be as it is today or what it was during his 1000-year kingdom.
What a glorious time that will be. I pray that God give me the strength, the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to have the faith and resolve to traverse the difficult road yet ahead to enter into God’s kingdom when it comes down to the earth. I pray. I pray I never forget what my Master has yet to teach during his yet-to-come 1000-year kingdom over the earth.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. -Revelation 3:13
Lastly, Christ’s angel through John to the angel of the congregation in Philadelphia that it listens to what “The Spirit” says to [all of] the congregations. (John 4:24, 2 Cor 3:17, 1 Tim 1:17, and Heb 11:27)
This “Spirit” is God Himself. Remember, the revelation is a “Revelation by Jesus Christ that God – who is Spirit – gave him.” He is the one speaking to the congregations through his Son, The Word of God.
Jesus Christ as God’s Word, has at his disposal angels that he can dispatch with what was given to him by The Spirit to all of the congregations.
Note: Do not confuse “The seven spirits of God” with “The Spirit.” The seven spirits of God are the seven congregations. More specifically the angels of each of those congregations. The Spirit is God Himself.
In a few days, I will close with the last of the seven congregations, the one in Laodicea.
A Disciple of Christ in the strictest sense. I belong to no religious organization. I view Christ as my only Head, Master, Teacher,
Owner, and Lord. (John 8:31-32, 1Cor 11:3) His God is my God and I champion his teachings above anything issuing out of ANY religious organization.