The scripture for today is Revelation 3: 7-13.
“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. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know 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. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him 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 him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
In the above scripture, a letter was to be written to the church in Philadelphia which was a city of commercial importance conveniently located as the gateway to the high central plateau of the province of Asia in Asia Minor. The name means “brotherly love” and commemorates the loyalty and devotion of two brothers during 220 – 130 B.C.
Christ is the Davidic Messiah with the authority to control entrance the kingdom. Who holds the key of David? Only Christ can open the door of salvation.
The synagogue of Satan is a bold metaphor directed against unbelieving and hostile Jews. They will be made to fall down at your feet, a final acknowledgement by the Jews that the Christians are God’s beloved people.
This text does not say that God will take believers out of this world, a “rapture,” but will keep them for undergoing or going through the hour of trial. This protection is possible for God without taking Christians out of this world, as he protected the children of Israel from the last plagues in Egypt while they remained there.
The area of Philadelphia was subject to severe earthquakes. One destroyed the city in the first century. The pillars which survived suggest a symbol of the faithful believers.
Names revealed character. Christ’s new name symbolizes all that he is by virtue of his redemptive work of mankind. This awaits the second advent.
Dear Lord, help us to understand your word and absorb your intended message.
Prayer Concern: May all our cities display more brotherly love.