Revelation 3:7 Index
"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;"
Research Material

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

  • To Philadelphia speaks "He that is true" -- to the church which has "kept my word" (Revelation 3:8), and is promised protection in the coming hour of trial. Philadelphia had suffered from earthquakes more than any other city of Asia. One in A.D. 17 was followed by years of repeated minor shocks which hindered rebuilding and induced a large proportion of the population to flee to safety outside the city. The Philadelphians who remembered that long period of instability and dread would appreciate the assurance: "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar" -- the symbol of stability -- "and he shall go no more out" (Revelation 3:12). Furthermore, "I will write upon him My new name" (Revelation 3:12). The new name was appropriate, for the city had formerly, during a number of years, taken a new name in honor of an emperor; and now the Philadelphian church was to be given the name of the true God. (Froom94)
  • The city of "brotherly love," Philadelphia, lies about twenty-five miles southeast of Sardis at an elevation of 900 feet. It was strategically located on the pass through which all the mail, trade, and commerce passed to the central and eastern regions of Lydia. It was built in 189 B.C., and named after Attalus Philadelphus whose brother was the King of Lydia. (KC 67)
  • Philadelphia received its name because of the love and loyalty its people had for each other. It was also known as Decapolis because it was one of the ten cities of the plain. Being build on the slopes of Mt. Tomolus made the ground on which Philadelphia was constructed unstable and subject to frequent earthquakes. It was nearly destroyed by earthquakes several times. (KC 67)
  • The Turks possessed it in 1392 A.D. It is still a town of considerable size, called Allahshehr, "the city of God." (KC 68)

CHURCH AGE:

  • 1880 AD to 1900 AD (KC 68)
  • The message to the church of Philadelphia represents the period of time from 1800 to 1900 AD. "He that is true... behold, I have set before thee an open door..." (Revelation 3:7 and Revelation 3:8). this was the age when the Word of God was made available to the entire world. The British Bible Society was established in 1804. The American Bible Society was established in 1816. This was a time of great missionary movements. Missionaries like Carey, Moffett, Livingston, Judson, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, William Miller, and Joseph Wolf took the gospel around the globe. The door for missionary work was opened as never before. (KC 68)
  • However, a door was also opened in heaven. According to Hebrews 8:1, 2; Christ who ascended to heaven after His resurrection began interceding in our behalf as our High Priest in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. (KC 68)
  • The sanctuary contained another area referred to as the Most Holy Place, the throne room of God. another phase of Christ's ministry began as described in Daniel 7:13.... This opened a door to mankind in 1844 to have Christ be our Mediator in the Judgment. This act opened a door that no man can shut (Revelation 3:8) to Christ's ministry that had taken place in the Holy Place. (KC 68)

GREETING: Salutation to the church Jesus is addressing. "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write." (KC 66)

IDENTIFICATION: Presents an aspect of Jesus's life that will be an encouragement to the church. "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." (KC 66)

"...to the angel of the church in Philadelphia..."

  • The word Philadelphia means "Brotherly Love." (KC 66)