The Epistle to the Church in Philadelphia
Revelation 3:7-13
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David…

The "holy" and "true" One - the Holy One who is Truth, who has supreme power, opening and shutting at his will, and whose work none can withstand, he speaks his word of commendation and blessing and promise to his steadfast Church. The symbolical word is fidelity. The reward comprises -

I. THE LORD'S DISTINCT RECOGNITION OF THE CHURCH'S FIDELITY. "I know thy works." To fight in view of the sovereign, and of the observing nation - a stimulus to bravery, patience, and endurance. The eye of the multitude the stimulus to many great and worthy enterprises. But the watchful eye of the Lord - "he that is holy, he that is true" - is the true encouragement and sustaining stimulus to the suffering and toilsome Church in all ages. This recognition descends to the details and particulars of service.

1. "Thou hast a little power." A true estimate of the Church's ability.

2. Faithfulness to the truth. Thou "didst keep my word."

3. Steadfastness in the hour of trial. Thou "didst not deny my Name." The reward further comprises -

II. THE OPENING OF ENLARGED SPHERES OF USEFULNESS. "I have set before thee an open door." Useful employment in the Lord's service is the highest honour. The token of approbation of past service found in the call to greater works.

III. THE SUBJUGATION OF THE ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH. "I will make them to come and worship at thy feet." The true reward to the Church is not found in her elevation, but in the conversion of the enemies of the truth.

IV. THE TESTIMONY BEFORE THE ENEMIES OF THE DIVINE LOVE FOR THE CHURCH. Weary may be the days of the Church's endurance, but all will be forgotten in the Lord's gracious recognition "in the last day," when he shall "confess" them before his Father and before the holy angels - confess them as his; own and acknowledge them.

V. DEFENCE IN THE HOUR OF SPECIAL TRIAL. They who according to their strength serve the Lord will, in the hour of their weakness, find him to be their strong Rock of defence. "I also will keep thee from the hour of trial."


1. The permanent abode in the eternal temple of the Lord - the everlasting fellowships of heaven.

2. Recognition as the Lord's; his Name written upon him. This distinction the highest.

3. Special personal recognition as holding the closest relation to the Redeemer. "Mine own new Name." - R.G.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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;

WEB: "To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: "He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one can shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says these things:

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