7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
8 “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Revelation 3:7-13).’
To this church of brotherly love. Philadelphia, man they have been through some pain with the local Jews there. Jesus is referring to them as a synagogue of Satan. You laugh to yourself and think, “I am pretty sure that is bad.” The Jews there have been very divisive. It started out as what was seen as a difference of opinion, granted a major one. But, now it is in a full blown destructive mode. It doesn’t help that Jews currently are exempt from Emperor worship while we Christians are not. This is a huge source of tension, since we could very easily be put to death. In fact this is the greatest fear of the believers in Philadelphia, because Jews hate them. This hatred is why Jesus calls them, “A Synagogue of Satan.” To use this word for a Jewish place of worship and declare it Satan’s is not something they will be into.
We have counseled our friend Michael and his family to come and stay with us. We have tried to get some people out of there because it is becoming dangerous, but they will not leave their local Christian brothers and sisters or their family. Fear has struck the church and it greatly effects how they do things. It is hard to try to grow your witness in an area when Jews can turn you into the government so easily.
The situation is very disturbing. You thought of the ring leader that they don’t even like to name. He is short and fat and hateful, but he can quote scripture like no one you have ever met before. It must be sad to know you have abilities like that, even when you live in disobedience. You have seen what they are up against, and Jesus is verifying their heart and it is dangerous, yet our Lord says something else.
He is about to open up a door for the Gospel that no man can shut. The great apostle Paul used to talk about doors. Their were doors opening and closing all the time. It seems that the apostles like to talk in these terms. If a door is closed, then don’t try to open it. It is closed. If it is open, no man can shut it.
When you think of that little, fat, evil man of the synagogue of Satan you think, that man can’t be saved. But, then you recall the Apostle Paul’s story. He was way worse than him. Maybe we should just keep throwing seed and see if it takes root. Maybe we shouldn’t qualify. Jesus didn’t just promise them converts, He promised that they would come and worship at His feet. They will reverently lay prostrate and at His mercy.
You thought, I am also a little nervous. “There is something that we will all experience. There is some kind of persecution that is coming on to the entire world. Philadelphia will be exempt. God only knows what is coming, but I am a little tempted to move over to that church, but the promises of God are for each church and even if we move, we are still Ephesus. We must walk in faith and not fear. “God has this,” you thought as you began to pray for your friend Michael’s family in Philadelphia.
See you Next Week! Thank you for reading!
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