Revelation 3:7-13 Part 3

7) And write the message to the Church in Philadelphia.  The Holy, The True, the One having the ‘David key’, “the One opening and no one shall shut, and the One shutting and no one opens”, says these things:

8) I know your works – lo, I have presented an opened door before you, which no one is enabled to shut – that you have a little strength, and you did keep My Word, and you did not deny My Name.

9) Lo, I give from out of the synagogue of Satan those declaring themselves to be Jews and are not but deceiving themselves, lo I will appoint them in order that they shall come, and they shall worship before your feet, And they shall know that I did love you.

10) Because you did keep the word of My patience, I, I also will keep you from the hour of the fiery trial, the hour about to come to pass upon the entire household to put to the proof those dwelling on the earth.

11) I come quickly!  Hold fast what you have, in order that no one might take your crown.

12) I will make the one overcoming a pillar in the temple of My God; and he shall then by no means go out.  And I will write on him the Name of My God and the Name of the City of My God, the New Jerusalem, the One that descends out of the heavens from My God, and My Own new name.

13) The one having an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.


As we ended the preaching last Lord’s Day, we heard the blessing of Jacob on his son Judah, that all of the descendants of his eleven other sons would bow down before the descendant of Judah and His elect people. That descendant, of course, is Jesus – the Son of God/Son of man – who has the ‘David Key’ to the (also prophesied) new Holy Temple – the one ‘made without hands’.

He is the ‘true Steward’ of the temple – not the false stewards who had shut the door to the temple in Jerusalem to all of God’s covenant people by their idolatry and their blasphemy of the Spirit Who occupied the Holy of Holies.

The true Steward, the faithful Son of God/Son of Man, has, in three days, established a new temple in a new holy city, and the doors stand ‘opened’ to all His covenant elect (not only to the elect remnant of the house of Israel, but also to the elect from every nation, tongue and tribe).  And, as this letter is written to the Churches, the True Steward is coming quickly to fill His new temple.  And the doors stand ‘opened’ because He IS the true Steward (He alone has the key!); and there will be no idolatrous and blasphemous judaists in it, claiming to be the temple stewards, who would shut the doors to His people.

Then Jesus says to this Church, verse 10: “Because you did keep the word of My patience, I, I also will keep you from the hour of the fiery trial, the hour about to come to pass upon the entire household to put to the proof those dwelling on the earth.”

Up in verse eight, Jesus commends the Church, for it had ‘kept’ His Word.  And here in verse ten He says, “Because you did keep the Word of My patience….”  “You kept it….”  And now, “because you did keep it.”  And He adds what He will do for this Church because they did keep it!

Now, there’s a phrase used by the enthroned Lord that’s not used elsewhere.  It is to this Church, and it is clearly in the context of what is about to come quickly.  The phrase is “the Word of My patience”.

However, even though the phrase used by Jesus isn’t found in this exact form elsewhere, we aren’t without guidance, are we?  Listen to the apostle Paul as he writes of these very same things in his second letter to the Church right across the Aegean Sea in Thessalonica (chapter three):


1) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified, even as also it is with you;

2) and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and evil men; for all have not faith.

3) But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and guard you from the evil one.

4) And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command.

5) And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ.


Now, even though we don’t have Jesus’ exact phrase here, the apostle directs the attention of the Church in Thessalonica toward the patience of Christ.  What is it, exactly, that he means?

Well, the apostle James, in the fifth chapter of his letter to these very Churches, gives us great insight into the contextual meaning and relevance of Jesus’ words.  Here’s what he wrote:


1) Come now, ye rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you.

2) Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.

3) Your gold and your silver are rusted; and their rust shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye have laid up your treasure in the last days.

4) Behold, the hire of the laborers who mowed your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth out: and the cries of them that reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

5) Ye have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure; ye have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter.

6) Ye have condemned, ye have killed the righteous one; he doth not resist you.

7) Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming (presence, parousia) of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain.

8) Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming (presence, parousia) of the Lord is at hand.

9) Murmur not, brethren, one against another, that ye be not judged: behold, the judge standeth before the doors.

10) Take, brethren, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets who spake in the name of the Lord.

11) Behold, we call them blessed that endured: ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful.


As you can hear, this passage from James is just full of the same context in which Jesus is speaking to the Church in Philadelphia, isn’t it?  Using the figure of the farmer/owner/husbandman waiting patiently for his crop to grow and ripen, James likens this to the Owner/Lord of HIS precious fruit – how He patiently waits for HIS harvest to come to fruition.

The farmer doesn’t curse his crop and give up hope that it will ever be reaped.  So the Lord and Owner of HIS vineyard is patient until the time is full and He gathers His entire produce!

And James then says, “you also be patient: establish (strengthen) your hearts; for the parousia of the Lord is at hand”.  In other words, Jesus’ Parousia is at hand; He is coming quickly!  Strengthen your hearts, and wait!  Our Lord is patient – waiting for the fullness of time when His precious fruit has all come in.

Don’t give up hope (anticipation of the Lord’s ‘coming’) as the judaists argue!  A thousand years is “as a day” to Him!   The judaists live lives of delicacy and riches fraudulently taken from the Lord’s covenant people as if that was their just reward!  They have no concept of the judgment that is about to come to pass!   But our Lord is patient until all of His elect are out of Israel!  The entire harvest isn’t quite ready yet!  So, since HE’s patient, you also must be patient.  You must keep the Word of His patience!

Job, and the prophets, endured with anticipation of the coming Messiah.  And they were hoping for that which would come some six hundred to a thousand years in the fullness of the Lord’s time!  And they were blessed in that faithful anticipation.  You’ve kept His Word, Church in Philadelphia; now keep the Word of His patience!

Don’t get caught up in the high-sounding words and arguments of pagans and judaists around you, who would subvert your faithfulness in Jesus Christ and His coming!  And don’t be deceived by what you see around you – that all seems to be the same since the beginning!  That’s not the evidence!  His Word of Patience is the evidence.  Strengthen your hearts, for the fullness of the harvest is at hand.  The Owner of the vineyard is coming quickly!

In the same verse, verse ten, our Lord’s message to this Church includes a blessing for its “keeping the Word of His patience”, doesn’t it?  He says to the Church that He, He alone, will keep it from the hour of the fiery trial because it has “kept the Word of His patience”.

The destruction of the temple; the burning annihilation of the city of Jerusalem; the flood of devastation upon the whole nation of Israel; the carnage of Jews in many places around the world; and the abrogation of the covenant with the harlot of the earth, will not affect this Church!  It will be “kept” by the Lord from the fiery trial.  The word “fiery trial” that Jesus uses here is the same word that He uses later on in Revelation for the “burning” of the city as the kings of the nations see the smoke of her burning.

Then Jesus enhances and defines the term “fiery trial” with this: “the hour about to come to pass upon the entire household to put to the proof those dwelling on the earth.”

Because the persecuted Church in Philadelphia had kept the Word of His patience, Jesus promises in return to keep it from the hour of fiery trial.  Please note that the Lord isn’t promising to “rapture” this Church, or to “take it away”, but to “keep” it.  In other words, He promises to preserve it, to keep it, from falling during a time of great severity.

This is one of the verses that pre-tribulational dispensationalists have claimed for support of their rapture theory.  But it says nothing of the sort.  In fact, it says nothing about a second advent of Jesus; and it says zero about a mythical “end of the world” and the destruction of the creation.  And it says nothing about a thousand year reign of Jesus from the temple mount in Jerusalem!

In fact, it is speaking of a period of mega-thlipsis – great tribulation – which, in the context and experience of this first century Church, was ‘about to come to pass’!  Would it make any sense at all that the Lord would promise this Church to “keep” it from the fiery trial about to come, if it were to occur two millennia later?

The Philadelphia Church was concerned about more pressing and immediate matters, such as official persecution, intolerance of this “new” religion, social ostracism, economic boycotts, suborning of witnesses, and false prophets and teachers.  It was buffeted from every side with those who ridiculed “the Word of His patience” – that His Parousia was never going to come.

So what did this Church care about Hal Lindsey’s fiendish fear-mongering two thousand years in the future (filthy lucre, I might add, since Jesus, in Revelation 22, warns about adding to, or subtracting from, His Word, which would be met with the curses of the covenant).

No.  The promised fiery trial was to be in the immediate future (as the totality of His Own Word completely agrees), An “hour” of fiery trial about to come to pass.  An “hour” simply means shortly to come and of limited duration.  Our Lord will not tarry, He is patient until the harvest is fully ripe, His Church is enjoined to keep the Word of His patience; He will keep the Church from the fiery trial, and He says, “I Am coming quickly”.

Now.  The fiery trial is to come upon the entire “household”!  Your Bible will probably read “upon all the world”, or “upon the whole world”.  But that’s an interpretation – not a translation!  The word spoken by our Lord is “house”, or “household”; and it has a suffix that means “whole”, or “entire”.  Therefore the translation in your printed text: “entire house”, or “entire household”.

As we’ll see in a minute with some examples, the Scripture is filled with references to “the house of Israel”.  The twelve tribes were the “whole house”, or the “entire household” of Israel.  There are three hundred and twenty six references in Scripture from which we might choose.  But a few are very applicable to our context here is Revelation.

The first is from Ezekiel chapter six; and listen for the mention of the entire house of Israel:


1) And the word of Yahveh came unto me, saying,

2) Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy unto them,

3) and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahveh: Thus saith the Lord Yahveh to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.

4) And your altars shall become desolate, and your sun-images shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.

5) And I will lay the dead bodies of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.

6) In all your dwelling-places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your sun-images may be hewn down, and your works may be abolished.

7) And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am Yahveh.

8) Yet will I leave a remnant, in that ye shall have some that escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.

9) And those of you that escape shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captive, how that I have been broken with their lewd heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which play the harlot after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.

10) And they shall know that I am Yahveh: I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.

1)1 Thus saith the Lord Yahveh: Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas! because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel; for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.

12) He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my wrath upon them.

13) And ye shall know that I am Yahveh, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the places where they offered sweet savor to all their idols.

14) And I will stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate and waste, from the wilderness toward Diblah, throughout all their habitations: and they shall know that I am Yahveh.


A “remnant” shall escape the abomination of desolation coming upon the whole house of Israel, promised by Yahveh in the prophecy of Ezekiel.

Now let’s see what Jesus – Yahveh – said, in Matthew chapter ten:


5) These twelve Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans:

6) but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7) And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.


The “remnant” lost sheep of the house of Israel shall escape the sword among the nations.  But the whole house of Israel, all but the remnant kept by The Lord for Himself, will suffer the fiery trial of mega-tribulation; and they shall fall by sword, by famine and by pestilence in an hour about to come to pass.

Then Jesus says to this Church, verse ten, “to put to the proof those dwelling on the earth”.  It’s just as rewarding as it can possibly be to see these words in their original language, and then be able to explain them to the Lord’s people right in His sanctuary!  And the standard English translations leave us somewhat short of those great rewards.

The King James version of the text has “to try them”.  And so does the American Standard version.  The New International version has “to test them”.  The contemporary English version has “a time of testing for everyone in the world”.  I just wonder sometimes how many could “pass a test” called “the abomination of desolation”!!

But the word I’ve translated “to put to the proof”, has nothing whatever to do with a “test”.  And it certainly has no reference to trying people with temptations.

To “put to the proof” means to bring the judgment that fits the crime!  It’s the same word, in a cognate form, as the “fiery trial” which is about to come to pass!  It begins with the root Greek word “pyre”, from which comes our word “pyromaniac” (one who sets fires).  The “fiery trial” puts to the proof – it brings the required judgment to those who have broken the covenant.  (And I don’t think it’s at all accidental that a “funeral pyre” in our English language is an idolatrous burning of the dead on an elevated wooden frame); for the house of Israel was put to the proof by the fire of the wrath of Jesus Christ.

Now.  Lastly in verse ten, who is it that Jesus, at His Parousia, will “put to the proof”?  It is, of course, the entire “house of Israel”.  It is they who “dwell on the earth”.  The last half of verse ten doesn’t say that there are two different groups of people who suffer the hour of fiery trial!  It’s the same covenant people, the house of Israel who dwell on the earth.

When God destroyed heaven and earth by water, Noah and his family were “saved by baptism”.  And it was they through whom God brought forth Israel.  And He placed them in a new Edenic paradise, a “land” which He called “heaven and earth”.

And He, once again, separated the “land” and the “sea”.  The land being His Edenic paradise called Israel/Zion (the covenant people); and the sea was the mass of fallen, non-covenanted humanity, roaring and frothing in demonic possession.  As we proceed through Revelation, these things will become more and more clear as we see God’s creation from His point of view.

But all through the older Scripture, it is prophesied that idolatrous and adulterous Israel would be destroyed and driven from the land, and there would be created a new heavens and a new earth.

Here’s what the apostle peter said about these things as he quotes the prophet Isaiah.  2 Peter chapter three:


3) knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts,

4) and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

5) For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God;

6) by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

7) but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

8) But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11) Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness,

12) looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13) But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.


As I said, Peter quotes directly out of Isaiah chapter 65 where the prophet receives Revelation from God regarding Israel’s idolatry and adultery, and the burning judgment of the wrath of God upon this heaven and earth that God had created for Himself in Zion.  And then Isaiah foresees God’s creation of a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

So the “fiery trial” about to come to pass is to come upon the whole house of Israel – those who dwell on the earth, the land that God had separated out for His covenant people.

Well, we have to stop at this point.  We’ll try to finish this breathtaking and remarkable message to the Church in Philadelphia next Lord’s Day.  But let it be said to this Church and to all Churches professing the name of Jesus:  Repent of your past sin.  Hold fast to His Name.  Keep His Word.  Keep the Word of His patience, for He is not willing that even one of His elect among all the nations should perish.