Philadelphia (modern Alashehir, Turkey) twenty-eight miles southeast of Sardis was a commercial center located on elevated ground overlooking the fertile plain of the Hermus (Gediz) River. In 189 b.c. the king of Pergamum, Attalus Philadelphus, established Philadelphia and named the city to honor his brother. AMP
It was nearly destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of Tiberius [Tacitus, Annals, 2.47]. The connection of this Church with Jews there causes the address to it to have an Old Testament coloring in the images employed. It and Smyrna alone of the seven receive unmixed praise. A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments.
3. A. Jesus’ message to the church at Philadelphia
- He knows what they are doing.
- He knows their limited strength.
- He commends them because they have kept His word.
- They have not denied His name.
He is obviously pleased with their good heart and pure motives.
B. What was going on?
The Jews were stirring up trouble and persecuting those who believed Jesus was the Christ.
4. A. What do they mean?
Holy: Sacred (physical pure, moral, blameless or religious, ceremony consecrated): (most) holy (one, thing), saint. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary
True: Real or genuine; steadfast, loyal; honest, just; truthful, consistent Merriam-Webster
I will give him the key to the house of David—the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them. Isaiah 22:22 Messianic prophecy
I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful]on earth will have[already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have[already] been loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 The Message (MSG)
God gave Jesus the “all authority” key on heaven and on earth. He passed that authority key to His followers as His ambassadors to do even greater works.
5. Synagogue of Satan
Synagogue of Satan refers to those claiming to be Jews because they had Jewish parents. And because the males were circumcised. But they oppose to the Way. (Acts 9:2)
Revelation 2:9 calls the people who call themselves Jews but are liars, the synagogue of Satan, a liar and the father of lies.
I know about your suffering and your poverty–but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. NLT
Revelation 3:9 Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
John 8:31-47 Jesus, in the flesh, challenged some Jews because they interpreted His words as flesh and not spiritual.
The Church of Smyrna was encouraged with a promise that their Jewish opponents should not be victorious over them. The Philadelphian Christians are told that they shall be victorious over their Jewish opponents. Pulpit Commentary on Revelation 3:9
6. A. Jesus loves everyone so much,
He left heaven where He is worshiped 24/7 to live on earth in an unremarkable human body with all of its discomforts. He was misunderstood even by His own family and followers. His own Jewish “church” leadership rejected Him and put Him to death. They also persecuted and put His followers to death.
He said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” Even though He knew, most would still reject Him.
B. Personal application
Don’t copy the behavior and customs (or values) of this world, but let God transform (me) into a new person by changing the way (I) think. Then (I) will learn to know God’s will for (me), which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 NLT
- Study and do (my) best to present (my)self to God approved,
Keep vigilant watch over (my) heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of (my) mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep (my) eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch (my) step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before (me).
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:25 MSG
- Having done all, stand.
Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that (I) will be able to [successfully] resist and stand (my) ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in (my) place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. Ephesians 6:13 AMP
- Write. Acts of service to others.
Just as each one of (us) has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to (us) by God’s unmerited favor]. 1 Peter 4:10 AMP
My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Revelation Lesson 6 Day 2
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