Angel of the Church in Philadelphia - Little Strength
Christ Jesus dictates his testimony to John the Divine to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. Today’s Revelation Bible Study uses Revelation 3: 7 -13. “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 opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;” Revelation 3:7.
- “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,” Revelation 3:8.
At the beginning of all seven letters to the seven angels of the Seven Churches in Asia Christ starts with, “I know thy works.” What is the significance of this phrase in all these letters? Christ’s letter to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia is his first testimony of commendation to any of the Seven Churches in Asia. Jesus does not call this angel to repentance or reprimands him in any way. Instead, he encourages him and compliments him.
First, Christ says look, I have placed an open door before you. The open door is a reward for the angel of the Church in Philadelphia because of his faithfulness. He has “kept” the Word of God and he has “not denied” his “name”. Christ Jesus will always honor anyone whom demonstrates commitment in these two areas. The only thing God honors above His name is His Word.
The “open door” is not opportunities for the angel of the Church in Philadelphia, but its nature is explained in the following Scripture verse:
- 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.
This is the “open door” to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia, and to all Believers of Jesus Christ to be diligent in keeping the things concerning Jesus Christ.
Christ Jesus Glorified Through the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia
People who pretend to be Believers of Jesus Christ will come and humble themselves in the presence of the angel of the Church in Philadelphia because they realize that God loves him. This is the open door that Christ has set before him and no man can shut it. The Lord Jesus will be glorified by his awesome workings through the angel of the Church in Philadelphia.
- “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,” Revelation 3:10.
Observe, that “open door” spoken of above and preserving the angel of the Church in Philadelphia “from the hour of temptation” constitute his reward from Christ Jesus. Every angel has gotten rewards or promises of rewards. At the time of the writing of John’s revelation of Jesus Christ, the hour of temptation was futuristic. Has it happened since?
Additionally, observe how Christ Jesus is gradually steering us into the light of who the angel of the Church in Philadelphia is. First, Christ tells us he is not an angel by telling us he has “kept the word”. Second, Christ tells us how he has preserved the angel of the Church in Philadelphia from the “hour of temptation.” Moreover, where shall this temptation be? Certainly not in heaven, but in “the world” or on “the earth”. Finally, even the purpose of the temptation informs us that the angel of the Church in Philadelphia is a leader in the body of Christ.
A trial comes to test our faith in the Word of God. On the other hand, a test comes to “try” or test our obedience to God, similar to how God “tried” Abraham. Angels cannot be tested or tried because they are inherently obedient to God. Finally, angels don’t “dwell” on “the earth” but in heaven.
- “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown,” Revelation 3:11.
Christ Jesus encourages the angel of the Church in Philadelphia to retain his “crown” by keeping the “word of” his “patience” and keeping his name.
Christ Jesus to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia - Overcome
- “Him that overcomes 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 comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name,” Revelation 3:12.
Christ promised to “make” the Over-comer a part of the “temple of” His “God”. The New Jerusalem comes from God and heaven but it will be on the earth. As a reward, the Overcomer will also receive honor from “the name of Christ”. Christ promised to “write” on him the name of his God, the name of the city of his God and his “new name.” The Believers who overcome shall inherit the New Jerusalem.
Finally, this letter to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia is different from all the others in many respects. The Scriptures continue to reveal that the angel of the Church in Philadelphia is not a literal angel for he is on earth and not in heaven. The angel of the Church in Philadelphia is a leader in the Kingdom of God here on earth.
In closing, the Book of Revelation is still a book of prophecy. When its prophecies shall have come true, they will manifest to the whole earth that Christ Jesus be glorified. It shall not take place in a corner. All these letters to the Seven Churches of Asia constitute the Testimony of Jesus Christ in part. As the angel of the Church in Philadelphia continues to glorify God let our works also glorify Him each and every day through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” Revelation 3:13.