“the city of him who loves his brother”
7 ¶ And write unto the Angel of the Church which is of Philadelphia, These things saith he that is Holy, and True, which hath the key of David, which openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth.
8 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.
9 Behold, I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan, which call themselves Jews, and are not, but do lie: behold, I say, I will make them that they shall come and worship before thy feet, and shall know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, therefore I will deliver thee from the hour of tentation [temptation], which will come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come shortly: hold that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh, 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 the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new Name.
13 Let him that hath an ear, hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.
The Church at Philadelphia –
the church of the city of him who loves his brother –
hearing His commendation,
and receiving His certain and blessed promises.
Bible Study Tools
“A city of ancient Lydia in Asia Minor on the Cogamus River, 105 miles from Smyrna. It stood upon a terrace 650 ft. above the sea. Behind it are the volcanic cliffs to which the Turks have given the name of Devitt, or ‘inkwells’; on the other side of the city the land is exceedingly fertile, and there was produced a wine of whose excellence the celebrated Roman poet Virgil wrote. Philadelphia is not so ancient as many of the other cities of Asia Minor, for it was founded after 189 BC on one of the highways which led to the interior. Its name was given to it in honor of Attalus II, because of his loyalty to his elder brother, Eumenes II, king of Lydia. Still another name of the city was Decapolis, because it was considered as one of the ten cities of the plain. A third name which it bore during the 1st century. A.D. was Neo-kaisaria; it appears upon the coins struck during that period. During the reign of Vespasian, it was called Flavia. Its modern name, Ala-shehir, is considered by some to be a corruption of the Turkish words Allah-shehir, ‘the city of God,’ but more likely it is a name given it from the reddish color of the soil. In addition to all of these names it sometimes bore the title of ‘Little Athens’ because of the magnificence of the temples and other public buildings which adorned it. Philadelphia quickly became an important and wealthy trade center, for as the coast cities declined, it grew in power, and retained its importance even until late Byzantine times. . . As in most Asia Minor cities, many Jews lived there, and they possessed a synagogue. . .
E. J. Bank
The Final Prophecy of Jesus: An Introduction, Analysis, and Commentary on the Book of Revelation
Oral Edmond Collins
“Christ addresses the church of Philadelphia as the One whose words are from ‘him who is holy and true’ (7a). ‘Who is like you – majestic in holiness?’ (Exod 15:11) ‘There is no one holy like the LORD’ (1 Sam 2:2). ‘He who is holy and true’ is a clear affirmation of the Deity of Jesus. The absolute holiness of Christ indicates that He is set apart as God from all imperfection and moral evil. As holy, His authority is unblemished and His promises sure.
“Jesus walks among the churches as one who holds the keys to David’s theocratic kingdom. The concept is covenant-oriented. Jesus is the true Davidic king and the fulfillment of the theocratic kingship by which God rules over the hearts of believing men. He absolutely controls their destiny regardless of Satan’s opposing forces which have invaded the evil world, even at times Christ’s church, as at Philadelphia.
“Because Christ holds the keys, the same keys He delegated to Peter and the Apostles (Matt 16:19; 18:18), He opened the door of opportunity to His church to be Christ’s servant and messenger to the world. As Pergamum is the gateway to Phrygia, so every local church placed by Christ has neighboring peoples who need the Gospel. Philadelphia was not a strong church but, in the face of opposition and with the enablement of the Spirit of God, they had remained faithful. They had not denied their Lord. There is no higher calling of the church of Jesus Christ in any circumstance than to obey the Word of God. With obedience there is ultimate victory and vindication.
“Christ is coming soon! Though the original readers in the Philadelphia church didn’t live to witness that event, their next moment of consciousness beyond death will witness Christ in his glory and introduce them into the blessed age to come (1 Cor 15:18-23; 1 Thess 4:15). Then they with us will be made perfect (Heb 11:39), and we will be crowned with life and immortality, for ‘our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Phil 3:20).”
Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1965
“An Open Door, which None Can Shut”, 3:8
“God had warned the churches of Ephesus and Sardis against boasting of their influential standing. Here, He cautions the Church in Philadelphia not to be discouraged because they are a nobody; for God is not dependent on worldly prestige.”
“Kept from Trial”, 3:10
“The Church in Smyrna had been told that they were to Suffer Persecution (2:10). Here, to the Church in Philadelphia, the promise is to Keep them from Suffering (3:10). Both Faithful Churches, God does not deal with all in the same way, but with each as He Himself knows best, beyond our understanding till we reach the other shore.”
Greek study for Revelation 3:10
Thou didst keep (ετηρησας — etērēsas) – I also will keep (καγω τηρησω — kagō tērēsō). Aorist active indicative and future active corresponding to each other. For a like play on the tenses of this verb by Christ see John 17:6 (τετηρηκαν — tetērēkan), John 17:11 (τηρησον — tērēson), John 17:12 (ετηρουν — etēroun). From the hour of trial (εκ της ωρας του πειρασμου — ek tēs hōras tou peirasmou). This use of εκ — ek after τηρεω — tēreō in John 17:15, απο — apo in James 1:27. Trial brings temptation often (James 1:2, James 1:13). Jesus endured (Hebrews 12:1.) and he will help them. There is still a church in Philadelphia in spite of the Turks. Which is to come (της μελλουσης ερχεσται — tēs mellousēs erchesthai). Agreeing with ωρας — hōras (feminine), not with πειρασμου — peirasmou (masculine). Upon the whole world (επι της εποικουμενης ολης — epi tēs epoikoumenēs holēs). The inhabited earth (γης — gēs) as in Revelation 12:9; Luke 2:1; Acts 16:6, etc.), not the physical earth, but the world of men as explained by the next clause. To try (πειρασαι — peirasai). First aorist active infinitive of purpose from πειραζω — peirazō probably to tempt (cf. the demons in 9:1-21), not merely to afflict (Revelation 2:10). That dwell upon the earth (τους κατοικουντας επι της γης — tous katoikountas epi tēs gēs). Present active articular participle of κατοικεω — katoikeō explaining “the whole world” just before.