Lesson 8 Rev 3:7-13 Philadelphia - The Good News 7/27/09

Uploaded by ALSWTLPC22 on 13.01.2012

Welcome to Lesson 8 in the Book of Revelation. We'll be covering the church of Philadelphia.
And I'd like to thank those who are tuning in on God Tube since I started posting the
lessons there. I have noticed that about 220 people were following right along. That excites
me and I would love to hear from your with comments or E-mails. I encourage you to visit
my website at wtlpc.com for the informational pages and Digging Deeper, and also I have
an outline that you can print out and write on as you go along and make notes, and also
a devotional if that's something you would like to do.
The sixth church of Philadelphia, it applies to the lesson today very much because this
church became active in sharing the Gospel throughout the world. The name of the city
was known for brotherly love, and the church will be loving those who did not know Jesus.
The name Philadelphia literally means "brotherly love". The word in Greek, "philos", means
"philia" or "brotherly", and "adelphos" means "brother" – "brotherly love".
It was named from two brothers. In 193 B.C., the city in Turkey was founded by Eumenes
II. But before it blossomed, he died. His brother took over. His name was Attalus. He's
so appreciated his brother that he named buildings, made coins with him on one side and his dead
brother on the other, and this is how the city became to be known as the city of brotherly
love, which is important for this church because this church would go out and love those who
are lost and didn't know about Jesus Christ.
In Turkey, there are two of the seven cities that are still standing today, Smyrna and
Philadelphia, each of which did not get corrective statements from Jesus Christ. Last church
we spoke about was Sardis. It was the reformed church that started so well, believing that
just by simple grace and accepting what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. They became
spiritually dead – sardines in a can. They just kind of met together and didn't go out.
And the church of Philadelphia starts right around the 1800. In 1780, there was a man
who worked on a cobble shop, making leather soles and shoes. He had two books he read.
There's the bible and a book by Captain Cook who discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which
were first known as the Sandwich Islands. As he read both books, his heart began to
burn for the people that did not hear the Gospel. He began to pray and intercede with
On May 31st, 1793, William Carey in London, England, went to a denominational church,
and the pastor opened the floor for sharing. This is the passage that he shared from Isaiah
54:2 through 4. "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do
not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the
right and the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in desolate
cities. Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not
be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth."
The church becomes stagnant, just like if you eat too much and don't exercise, you gain
weight. For example, I'll use myself. Before I was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease,
I was running and exercising. I was down to 210 and running 5K's. Now, I sit here two
years later at 260 mainly because eating pretty much the same amount of food but not the exercise.
This can happen to us spiritually. We can take in and listen to messages but we have
to let it flow out of us and use that knowledge.
Another example is a river that's rushing and flowing. The water is fresh. In the Middle
East, there's the Dead Sea. It has no outlet. The entire residue builds up where you can
basically stand and lay flat on the sea. There's no life. The fish, they're dead because there's
no oxygen. So William Carey is saying we need to go and share the Gospel – lengthen, strengthen,
and expand
And after a thousand years of no missions, he started this movement. William Carey wasn't
educated. He wasn't a scholar. He wasn't a pastor. His greatest ability was his availability
and that applies to you and me. He winds up going to India. He learns twelve languages.
He translates the bible into forty different languages, and he builds factories for the
people to work in India that are ostracized FOR converting to Christianity. And another
man in that congregation named Hudson Taylor said, "Well, if William Carey can do it, I'll
do it." And he went to China. And there are many other great people that would spread
the Gospel – D.L. Moody in our country, Charles Spurgeon, Mordecai Ham, who would
eventually preach to Billy Graham, and he was converted at one of his meetings.
You see, Jesus uses angels, but He uses us to spread the Good News, and as you share
the Good News, it brings joy to you. I'll say this a few times, Christianity is not
about good views, values, but it's about the Good News and people are forgiven of their
sins, and that's what we have to show and present to them. We have to love those who
do not know Jesus.
Now, as we've learned in Chapter 1, Jesus uses the seven descriptions of Himself, and
in each church He uses one of the descriptions in the church, and this is key in the church
of Philadelphia.
Verse 7: "Here is what I command you to write to the church of Philadelphia: Here are the
words of the one who is holy and true. He holds the key of David. No one can shut what
he opens, and no one can open what he shuts." This directly refers to Revelation 1:18: "I
am he who lives and was dead. Behold, I am alive forever more. Amen. And I have the keys
of Hades and death." And many people would ask, "Well, how could a loving God send people
to hell?" He does not want to send people to hell. These are the keys of hell and heaven,
not to lock them up but to let them out.
If you've been to Disneyland and been on the Pirates of the Caribbean, yo ho, yo ho, a
pirate's life for me, and there's a part where this men in the cell and there's a dog holding
the keys and he's trying to come – to get him to come over to get out. The dog is holding
the keys.
But what are these keys of David? In Isaiah 22:15 through 25, it explains the story. The
key of David was the keys to the treasury. There was a man named Shebna, and he used
the money to build a sepulcher or a grave – pretty silly. Instead of using it for
the king, he uses it on himself. It says, "To Shebna who is in charge of the royal household,
what right do you have here and who do you have here that you have hewn a tomb for yourself,
you who carved a resting place for yourself in a rock? And roll you tightly like a ball
to be cast into a vast country where you'll die. And there your splendid chariots will
be your shame of your master's house." He also uses it to buy a chariot. So Shebna loses
his job and his life.
"And I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your
tunic and tie his sash securely about him. I will entrust him with your authority, and
he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the house of Judah. Then
I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder. What he opens, no one will shut.
What he shuts, no one will open." So this is talking about the actual man that has the
keys to the treasury and power to open and shut.
Verse 23 is talking about Jesus, the one to come. "I will drive him like a peg in a firm
place, and he will become a throne of glory to his father's house." This is what Jesus
did for us on the cross.
Verse 24: "So they will hang him all the glory of the father's house. 'In that day,' declares
the Lord, 'the peg driven in a firm place will give way; it will even break off and
fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off.' The Lord has spoken." This speaks of
Jesus hanging on the cross. He died, will be taken off, and He will resurrect and live
again. And He now is the one that holds the keys to death and Hades that no one can open
or shut.
Another place in the Old Testament where God shut the door was in the days of Noah. And
Noah went into the ark and the Lord shut the door that no one could open. And it was seven
days before the judgment, and this is important. The seven days we know is a week, and a week
in the Bible refers to seven years.
In Genesis 29, Jacob wanted to marry Rachel. Her father said, "It's not the practice in
our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn. Complete the week of this one
and we will give you the other. You shall serve me another seven years." Jacob did so,
completed the week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel, his wife. This is just a key to understanding
a lot in bible prophecy.
Verse 8: "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut
it. For you who have little strength have kept my word and have not denied my name."
They keep seeking Him. Don't turn aside to false gods and doctrines. And Jesus speaks
of doors in many placed in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 16:9: "A door has opened wide for me to do some good work here. There are
many people who oppose me."
2 Corinthians 2:12: "Serving under the new covenant, I went to Troas to preach the Good
News about Christ. There I found that the Lord had opened a door of opportunity for
Colossians 4:3: "Pray for us, too. Pray that God will open a door for our message. Then
we can preach the mystery of Christ because I preached it and I am being held in chains,"
when he was arrested. We must pray that a door is opened. When you're disabled like
me, and I have ALS and I'm in a wheelchair, doors are problems in some places. Only the
most modern buildings, they have a place where you can push a button opening a door. Most
other places – others – someone has to go to the door and open it and hold it for
And that's what we have to do. We have to lead people to the door and open the door
for the people that don't know Jesus Christ. And there's nothing to stop us from doing
that. Not only do we open the door for them, but we have an open door to share especially
here in America where we're not persecuted and we have religious freedom.
The main thing is He says, "You have obeyed my word and have not said no to me." And right
here He's saying, "I know you have little strength," but He's saying, "You're small
and faithful. You're hungry for the Word of God. To know my ways and my heart you have
to not deny my name. You have not given in to that 'all roads lead to heaven'. You can
believe in Buddha or Allah or whatever you want, and you're going to get to heaven."
He's saying, "You are staying true." And that directly speaks to us in the church today.
"Indeed, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews though they're
not but lie – indeed, I will make them come and worship before your feet and to know that
I have loved you." In John days they were Jews that were persecuting Christians. They
were Jews by heritage but against what was going on. Then there were Christians who persecuted
Jews, called anti-Semitism. Remember Martin Luther. He started writing against the Jewish
people. Hitler used these writings, and even Hitler claimed to be a Christian. That's sad.
Verse 10: "You have kept my command to put up with anything that happens. So I will keep
you from the time of suffering that is going to come to the whole world. It will test those
who live on earth." He's talking about the tribulation, and the word "keep you" in Greek
means He's going to take us away so we don't have to go through that.
In 1 Thessalonians 5, Verse 9: "For God did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation
through our Lord Jesus Christ." The Old Testament reference in Judges 10:14 – 13 and 14: "Yet
you have forsaken me and served other gods. Therefore, I will deliver you no more. Go
and cry out to the gods, which you have chosen. Let them deliver you in your time of distress."
And during this tribulation period, people will cry out to their gods and many will come
to know that Jesus is Lord, but it'll be very, very rough during this time period.
Verse 11: "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your
crown." And Jesus said to look for Him to come, and we as Christians are looking for
that time where we will be caught up with Him. There are four different views that people
take on when this will occur. I am teaching a pre-wrath or pre-tribulation. When we are
caught up before the tribulations, we say that Jesus can come back today. Any other
view says Jesus cannot come back today, for the mid-tribulation theory says he cannot
come back until the anti-Christ has to be worshipped. If it's the pre-wrath, we're going
through some of the tribulation, and Jesus is not coming back. Post-trib, meaning after
the seven years of tribulation, we're all looking for things to happen except we're
not looking for Jesus Christ and Jesus is saying, "Look for me."
1 John 3:2 through 4: "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and that – and what
we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be
like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has his hope in Him purifies himself,
just as He is pure." If you think that Jesus can come back at any time, you purify yourself.
You don't want to be in sin or out of shape spiritually. You want to be close to Him and
ready, and quite frankly, in my situation, that is my hope, the hope that He will come,
and I want to be as pure as I can be, and I want people to know that having Lou Gehrig's
disease and facing death, all you have to do is accept Him as savior.
Verse 12: "I see to it that those who have overcome will be pillars in the temple of
my God. They will never leave it again. I will write the name of my God on them. I will
write the name of the city of my God on them. This is the New Jerusalem, which is coming
down out of heaven from my God. And I will also write my new name on them." This is what
God promised us. He's going to emblazon His name. You've heard that He's a pillar in the
community, and we are going to be named with God. Here on earth, we like to associate with
names. Sometimes, it might be a brand name or what we wear, Team shirts, hats, and we
sit and watch and we root like we can change the outcome, but we like to be connected.
"Oh, yes, I'm this fan, I'm a Yankee fan, I'm a Red Sox fan, and I’m this or that."
But the most important is that we are associated with God's name.
What is that name going to be? Well, Proverbs 25:2 says, "It is the glory of the Lord to
conceal the matter; but the glory of the kings is to search out a matter." He wants us to
continue to search Him, and it's his privilege to conceal, just like if you're giving someone
a gift, you want to conceal it until that special time, which God is going to do for
us. Sometimes, we use gifts for our daughter and say, "Well, if you do this, we'll give
you your gift." And when she completes the task, the gift is given. This is kind of what
Jesus is saying here.
"Those who have ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches." On
earth, we seek for joy and laughter. We watch movies to feel good and reruns. This is a
reference from my wife who if you're a little older, the Mary Tyler Moore Show, there was
a character called Chuckles the Clown. He's dressed as a peanut during the parade, and
he was crushed by an elephant. And the whole time before the funeral people were laughing
except for Mary. She gets to the funeral and all she can do is laugh. And the pastor said,
"Get up and laugh!" We all want joy, but true joy comes from going out and sharing your
faith when you minister to people and serve. Don't you notice that you – your soul is
renewed? Your treasures you can use to expand the kingdom. Well, what can you do? As a church
individually, it doesn't mean you have to go to a different country. It means you can
share just where you are. We don't have to talk to people about what they're doing wrong.
We just have to let them know that if they accept Jesus all their sins are forgiven.
John 16:7 through 14, it says, "And when He has come – this is the Holy Spirit – he
will convict the world with sin and righteousness and judgment: of the sin, because they do
not believe on me." That is the only one called the unpardonable sin – not believing on
Jesus, and the way we can tell them that He's different than all the others – Verse 10:
"Of righteousness, because I go to my Father and see you no more." He was resurrected and
ascended to heaven and is with the Father.
Like I said before, it's not good views, it's Good News. We shouldn't go out to people because
they drink or smoke or this or that or what they've done. It doesn't matter. Christ has
forgiven all sin once and for all. 1 Peter 3:18: "For Christ also suffered once for sins,
the just, the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh
but alive in the Spirit."
Mark 3:28: "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men and whatever blasphemies
they utter." So whatever they do wrong it's forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the
Holy Spirit never has forgiveness for he's guilty of an eternal sin. And that's what
you need to focus on. "Hey, man, Jesus died on the cross. He hung there naked for you,
and even if you're in a wheelchair, you can speak, you can accept Him and be sure of abiding
in heaven."
What is man's greatest need to be healed physically or spiritually? In Luke Chapter 5:17 through
26 will answer this question. You may have ALS or something physical, and people have
told you, you have to think positive, do this, or go see this person to be healed. This story
and scripture, Jesus is healing people, a man is led to the roof of the house and put
right in front of Him. He's paralyzed and can't move. And Jesus saw their faith. He
said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."
I'm sure he was hoping that he would be physically healed, but Jesus would use this for His glory
because the Pharisees were there. Instead of thinking, "He can't do that; only God can
forgive sins," Jesus looked at them and said, "Which is easier to say: 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say 'Get up and walk?'" Jesus said, "By that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority upon earth to forgive sins." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you,
get up, take up your mat, and go home."
This man is not around. How would I know he's in heaven? Because his sins are forgiven.
If he had only been physically healed, it only would have lasted a short time. God forgave
him of his sins and then he used the healing for His glory, His purpose, and His timing.
It brings us to the four applications. Historically, this church started around 1730 or the 1800s
and continues today, the church evangelism. The things in the church, the positive comment,
"I know you have little strength but you stay true to His word and you share the Gospel
and love your brothers." There is no corrective statement for this church. The eternal motivation
is the crowns of the people you know and you will be a pillar in heaven. And how does it
apply to you personally? Share Christ that you have been forgiven of sin – all sin
– and the only sin that is not acceptable is not accepting Jesus Christ as savior.