The Church At Philadelphia

(The Strength-Less Church)

The Church of Philadelphia is the sixth of seven Churches addressed in Revelation Chapters 2 & 3. It corresponds to the sixth of seven Kingdom of Heaven parables told by our Lord Jesus in Matthew Chapter 13 which is the Parable of the Pearl. They are one and the same.

Many Christians ask, "Does the Church at Philadelphia exist today?". The answer is definitely - Yes - . Not only does this Church exist, but it is the easiest and most readily identifiable Church among the seven Churches listed in Revelation. This has been true not only throughout Church history, but also at this present time as we shall see. No other Church in the world today displays the character, description, and doctrine to which both the parable and the Revelation letter point.

Matthew 13
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
46 "who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

This Church is a Pearl among Pearls. The merchant found this pearl (Church) among seven pearls. The seven pearls although not explicitly stated represent the seven churches of revelation. This particular pearl is highly desirable because of its beauty (glory). It was sought for its beauty, not for its price. The Church has value only because of the price that Jesus Christ paid for it.

Acts 20:28
"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.

To the pearl novice and untrained eye, all pearls are basically the same. Pearls are generally of the same size and quality when harvested in the same area. The same could not be said of diamonds or rubies, where size, shape, color, and quality could vary widely in any given area in which they may be found. Only an expert pearl appraiser and authority on pearls would know the difference. In a similar fashion, to the untrained and unskilled in the Word of God, all Churches are about the same.

The merchant in this parable is the Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that the merchant sold all that he had and bought this pearl serves to accent the price that was paid for it. We have to be careful here, because He is not saying that He didn't purchase the other six Churches with the same price, but that the value and beauty of this Church is greater than the other six. The point is that Jesus bought and paid for this church and it has greater BEAUTY (Glory) than the other Churches (pearls).

Eph 5:27
that He might present her to Himself a GLORIOUS CHURCH, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be HOLY and WITHOUT BLEMISH.

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, "These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":

"He who is HOLY is the Lord Jesus Christ. - - -

1 Peter 1
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as HE WHO CALLED YOU IS HOLY, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, "BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

"He who is TRUE is the Lord Jesus Christ - - -

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The KEY OF DAVID is referring to the fact Jesus will one day be the glorious King over Israel with all the responsibility to oversee it and rule it.

Isaiah 22
20 Then it shall be in that day, That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah;
21 I will clothe him with your robe And strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem And to the house of Judah.
22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open.

8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

The issue of strength is taken from the book of Ephesians where the armor of God is listed - - -

Ephesians 6
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with TRUTH, having put on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the GOSPEL of PEACE;
16 above all, taking the SHIELD of FAITH with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the HELMET of SALVATION, and the SWORD of the SPIRIT, which is the WORD of GOD;
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--

We shall see the six pieces of armor that this Church has put on. We shall summarize them as follows - - -

  1. Truth => Waist girded with Truth
  2. Righteousness => Breastplate of Righteousness
  3. Gospel of Peace => Feet Shod with Gospel of Peace
  4. Faith => Shield of Faith
  5. Salvation => Helmet of Salvation
  6. Word of God => Sword of the Spirit - Word of God

The phrase, "for you have a little strength," is referring to Faith. That is


1 Cor 16:13
Watch, stand fast in the FAITH, be brave, BE STRONG.

The phrase, "have kept My word" is referring to the Word of God


1 John 2:5
But whoever keeps His WORD, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

The phrase, " have not denied My name", is referring to Salvation


Mat 10:33
"But whoever DENIES Me before men, him I will also DENY before My Father who is in heaven.

1 John 2:23
Whoever DENIES the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

Romans 10:10
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto SALVATION

9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

Here is a separation that God will perform. You remember in the parable of the wheat and tares, the disciples asked if they should uproot the tares. The answer was no, but here God has done the uprooting of the wicked - the PROFESSING CHRISTIANS

10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

The command to persevere is the opposite of "commit fornication". It carries with it more than just the idea of persistent determination in spite of all obstacles. It includes that, but more specifically it means

Persistent Determination WITHOUT Glory and Honor, that is, without Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

The Christian is NOT to partake of the GLORY, HONOR, or POWER of the Lord (through the Holy Spirit) during this time period, i.e., the Church Age in a physical sense. Basically, it means that the Christian is to abstain from, "Signs, Wonders, and Miracles". Refer to the Topic Study on Spiritual Fornication for a more detailed look at this act.

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with PERSEVERANCE.

What is the Christian waiting for? Eternal Life? No, you have that already, what you don't have is the witness of God's Power, Glory, and Honor. That remains yet future.

11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

The crown that He is referring to here is the Crown of Righteousness and not the Crown of Life, although they have that crown also.


1 Corinthians 15
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 16
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

2 Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Philippians 1:27
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand FAST in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel

12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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