Revelation 3:7-13 Part 4

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.

Because it kept His Word, the Lord Jesus Christ would keep this Church from falling during the fiery trial soon to come to pass upon the entire house of Israel (all of those who dwell upon the earth), to execute the judgment suitable to the great harlot.


Immediately after saying that (and by the way, we’re often confused by the breakup of the text of Scripture into verses, as if there was some kind of break in the thought process.  But please note that there is no break here in what Jesus says in His message to this Church)  But immediately after saying what He did in verse ten, He says (without a break or a pause) “I come quickly.

Here’s the way it sounds:  “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.  I come quickly!  (Makes all the difference in the world, doesn’t it?)  It is His parousia that is near!

In verse one of chapter one, John writes: “that which is necessary to be done in quickness”.  In verse three of chapter one, he writes: “for the time is near”.  Chapter two, verse sixteen:  “I Am coming to you quickly”.  Here in chapter three verse eleven:  “I come quickly”.  Chapter twenty-two verse seven:  “And lo, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keeps the words of the prophecy of this book”.  Chapter twenty-two verse ten:  “And he said unto me, do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book; for the time is near”.  Chapter twenty-two verse twelve: “Lo, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to each man according as his work is.  Chapter twenty two verse twenty:   “The One who testifies these things says, ‘Yes! I come quickly!’  Amen: come, Lord Jesus”.

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

Now, I think it important for us to hear these same words, “hold fast”, in the letters of Jesus’ apostles, for they were writing to the Churches in the very same context as in Jesus’ messages to the Churches.  And, of course, it is the One Who spoke these words to John, Who also inspired the other apostles to write to the Churches.

So, let’s listen to them as we read a few of the instances in which the apostles urge all the Churches to “hold fast”.  Here is Paul in his first letter to the Church at Corinth, chapter eleven:

Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the things delivered, even as I delivered them to you.

Here’s Paul again at 1 Corinthians 15:


1) Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand,

2) by which also ye are saved if you hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except you believed in vain.


And here is the apostle in the incredible letter to the Church at Colossae:


18) Let no man rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he hath seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19) and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increasing with the increase of God.


Once again, the apostle in his first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, chapter five:


16) Rejoice always;

17) pray without ceasing;

18) in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward.

19) Quench not the Spirit;

20) despise not prophecies;

21) prove all things; hold fast that which is good;

22) abstain from every form of evil.


And in his second letter to the same Church, chapter two:


“So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold fast the things delivered, which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.”


Then from the writer to the Hebrews in all the Churches, chapter three:


5) And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken;

6) but Christ as a son, over his house; whose house are we, if we hold fast our boldness and the glorying of our hope (anticipation) firm unto the end.


And again in chapter three:


14) for we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end:


Then in the fourth chapter of the letter, verse fourteen:


“Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”


And, of course, we must remember that which our Lord has said on a number of occasions in these messages to the Churches.  Here’s chapter two verse twenty-five:


“Nevertheless that which ye have, hold fast till I come.”


Now, as I said, I thought it important that we see this verse eleven in context of all the other letters sent to the Churches.  It’s also interesting to note that, in the same context, our Lord spoke a parable (a dark saying) to the multitudes with the very same words.  Later, His disciples asked Him what it meant. Here is His answer to them in Luke chapter eight, beginning at verse nine:


  9) And his disciples asked him what this parable might be.

10) And he said, ‘Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to the rest in parables; that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.

11) ‘Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12) And those by the way side are they that have heard; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved.

13) And those on the rock are they who, when they have heard, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14) And that which fell among the thorns, these are they that have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15) And that in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with patience.


And then Jesus said, “hold fast what you have, that no one take your crown”.  The Church in Philadelphia has a little strength!  It has kept His Word, and it has kept the Word of His patience!  And Jesus says “hold fast what you have”.  Hold it fast that no one take your crown.

This is what the apostle Paul, writing at the inspiration of Holy Spirit, sends to Timothy.  It is the “crown of righteousness” which belongs to all of those remaining faithful to the Christ.  Paul says that he’s about to “depart” – in other words, to die.  He has run the race; and he has kept His Word.  And when the Son of God “appears”, Paul will be resurrected in Christ and receive his crown of righteousness.  Listen closely to it:


5) But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry.

6) For I am already being poured out, and the time of my departure is come.

7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith:

8) henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.


The apostle Paul always kept the “appearing”, the advent of the Christ, and our resurrection in Him, as the ultimate goal.  The Parousia is the immediate and preeminent context of all of the newer Scripture; but our resurrection on the day of His appearing is the transcendent and sublime future for all of the faithful.

That ardent anticipation is not centered in our deaths in order that we might “go to heaven”.  That’s not a Biblical concept.  Our faithful anticipation, with the apostle Paul, is toward the resurrection... at which time we will receive the crown of righteousness.

So it is the “crown of righteousness” that Jesus refers to here in verse eleven.  In Him, His crown is our crown.  In His resurrection is our resurrection.  In His faithfulness is our faithfulness.  In His righteousness is our righteousness.  It is a “crown of life”, for, in Him we have life – and have it abundantly.

Should we hold fast to His name; should we hold fast to His faith; should we keep His Word; should we keep the Word of His patience, then we have every reason to anticipate that ultimate and sublime event: the raising of our bodies NEW – in Him.  Should we hold fast to The Faith, then no one, and nothing, in all the creation can take away our Crown of Righteousness in Christ.

A man who I respect – a man of faith – once said this: “It seems more important to me now than ever to see our human life, despite all problems, as firmly rooted in God's mercy -- and eschatologically headed in Christ toward (the new) Heaven and the New Earth where all our earthly culture now shall be fully developed and enjoyed for ever. Without that glorious goal, does life have meaning?!”

And (verse twelve)


“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”.


In addition to the anticipation of our future resurrection, Jesus promises wondrous and breathtaking certainties to those who “overcome”.  And here He means those who, against all persecution, against all false teachers and prophets, against all subversion of the Truth, against all deceivers, against all who say “where is the promise of his coming”, against all who would reason that it’s permissible to eat bloody sacrifices with the pagans, against all who advocate for fornication….  Those who, against all of this, “overcome” and hold fast The Faith and keep His Word, Jesus promises these certainties – both immediate and perpetual!

Jesus says that He will make the one overcoming “a pillar in the temple of My God”.

Now, hopefully you remember our lengthy discussion of the doors of the tabernacle in the desert and the temple in Jerusalem; and how Yahveh described how their construction was to be, in great detail, as a foreshadowing of the new holy temple of God, with Jesus’ apostles being the foundation, and the Christ Himself as the Cornerstone.

We aren’t going to read all of those texts from Exodus and Ezekiel again this morning, but the prophetic foreshadowing is equally prominent here in Jesus’ promise to “the one overcoming”.  The word is “pillar”.

The apostle Peter picks up on the substance of the new holy temple of God in his first letter to the elect in dispersion in the nations as he says this in chapter two, verse five:


“ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.


This of course is the new holy temple (the third, last and perfect one) the one built without hands, having been prophetically foreshadowed in the perfections of the tabernacle in the desert and the temple on the temple mount in Jerusalem.  They were degraded and corrupted by idolatry; but the last one won’t be.  It is built upon the foundation; and its construction is of the “white stones” of Christ’s elect people.

Jesus’ allusion, here in our text, is to the “pillars” of the tabernacle and the temple, the construction and measurements thereof given to Moses by Yahveh in incredible specifics!  And all representing the “pillars” of fire by night and smoke by day.

But Israel not only debased the temple itself with its idolatry, but it built many other pillars and places of worship and sacrifice to other “gods’, mocking the appearance of Yahveh in pillars of fire and smoke, and mocking the coming reality and significance of the new holy temple built upon the foundation which is Christ and his apostles!

And the foreshadowings of the tabernacle and the temple come to actuality in the body of our Lord Jesus Christ as He promises the Church in Philadelphia that “the one who overcomes” will be a permanent pillar of perfect measurement in the construction of His new holy temple.  “And he will 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” (verse twelve).


As our Lord comes quickly to terminate the adulterous and idolatrous, He also comes to fill His new temple in His new city of God.  And all shall have a new name.

Jesus’ reference is to His Own word through the prophet Isaiah.  Please listen as I read in chapter sixty-two.  And please notice that everything has a new name:


1) For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth.

2) And the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yahveh shall name.

3) Thou shalt also be a crown of beauty in the hand of Yahveh, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

4) Thou shalt no more be named “Forsaken”; neither shall thy land any more be named “Desolate”: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah; for Yahveh delights (Hephzibah) in thee, and thy land shall be married (Beulah).

5) For as a young man marrieth a maiden, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

6) I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are Yahveh’s remembrancers, take ye no rest,

7) and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

8) Yahveh hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, ‘Surely I will no more give thy grain to be food for thine enemies; and foreigners shall not drink thy new wine, for which thou hast labored:

9) but they that have garnered it shall eat it and praise Yahveh; and they that have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary’.

10) Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up an ensign for the peoples.

11) Behold, Yahveh hath proclaimed unto the end of the earth, ‘Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

12) And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of Yahveh: and thou shalt be called Sought Out, A city not forsaken’.


We will certainly see much more about the new city (which, by the way, does NOT have a temple with an altar in it) – a New Jerusalem of exquisite proportions descending from the heavenlies; and it is called Hephzibah – My Delight is in Her.  That new city is now among us; and all who overcome, all who keep His Word, all who are victorious, all who keep the Word of His Patience, are IN IT – In Him.  And we are called “The Holy People”, “The Redeemed of Yahveh”: and “Sought Out”, A city not forsaken.   And the new holy temple is the body of our crucified, resurrected, glorified, crowned and enthroned Jesus Christ.

I leave you this morning with the prophecy of this new holy city with a new name, from Isaiah chapter 65:


17) For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

18) But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19) And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying.

20) There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.

21) And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22) They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23) They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Yahveh, and their offspring with them.

24) And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25) The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith Yahveh.


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