The sixth church addressed by Jesus was Philadelphia (meaning “brotherly love”). The city was located on an imperial trade road and served as the gateway—an “open door”—to a large, fertile plateau. Excavations indicate that Philadelphia was a center to which people came for health and healing. Shaken by frequent earthquakes, the city’s inhabitants moved to the countryside, living in humble huts.
NB: Of all the seven Churches, this is the only one that Christ didn’t have anything negative to say about!
- The message to this church applies prophetically to the great revival of Protestantism during the First and Second Awakenings that took place in Great Britian and America, from about 1740 to 1844.
- Given the light they had, God’s people did indeed seek to keep “ ‘ “My word” ’ ” (Rev. 3:8, NKJV) at this time. There was a growing emphasis on obedience to God’s commandments and pure living. The “open door” is apparently the way into the heavenly sanctuary, because “ ‘ “the temple of my God” ’ ” is also mentioned (Rev. 3:12, compare Rev. 4:1, 2). One door being closed and another door being opened points to the change that would take place in Christ’s high-priestly ministry, in 1844.
- Great revivals took place in churches on both sides of the Atlantic. In the years leading up to 1844, the message of Christ’s soon coming was procalaimed in many parts of the world. God’s promise to write His name on those who overcome indicates that God’s character will be seen in His people. Just as important as the message that Christ is coming soon is the message that Christ promises to make His people ready for that great event by forgiving their sins and writing His law in their hearts (see Phil. 1:6; Heb. 10:16, 17).
Source reference: SDA 1Q19 Quarterly