To The Angel at Philadelphia

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. We’re ¬†going to be continuing our Trinitarian Commentary tonight looking at Revelation 3:7 and the identification Jesus gives to the church in Philadelphia of himself. First, I ask for your prayers for my continued Christlikeness as it is a struggle for me right now in the area I think I need the most help right now. Second, for my financial situation. Thirdly, for a related area in my life that I hope for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in. For now, let us get to the text.

7“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.

This description Jesus gives of himself is all about his being Messiah. Noteworthy is that this is another church that Jesus only has praise for. There is no condemnation of this church. It is fitting for a church whose name refers to the city of brotherly love. Apparently, they lived up to their name with love for one another and love for Christ.

The message that Christ gives is a reminder that he is the Messiah. He is holy and true. This is something that would have applied in the OT to only YHWH alone. Holiness was a special quality of YHWH and referred to that which made him distinct from the common. Holy items in worship had the same aspect, though holiness for these items was not by nature but by grace.

True would refer to his being the reliable one who was faithful to what he said. When YHWH made a covenant, YHWH kept his side of the covenant always. The people in the Old Testament could count on YHWH keeping his promises and we in the era where we are under the new covenant can count on Christ doing the same.

He holds the key of David. Christ is the Messiah, a message that the church needs to remember. He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises to bring about a deliverer. However, unlike the ideas the Jews had in mind, this was not a deliverer from armies but rather a deliverer from the worst captivity of all, the captivity of sin.

What he opens, no one can shut, and what he shuts, no one can open. Commentators are divided, but most seem to think this is a counter to admittance in the synagogue. Christ is the one who holds admittance to the Kingdom of God. If he says you’re in, you’re in. If he says you’re out, you’re out.

What about references he says throughout this message of “My God”? It is asked in reply “What about them?” How does it go against the Trinity for one who is God to call another who is God, God? Jesus did come as a servant and he is the one speaking on behalf of the Father to the people. It is up to the anti-Trinitarian to show his case.

Tomorrow, we shall see what Jesus said to the final church, the church at Laodicea.

Support Deeper Waters on Patreon!