Strikingly apparent in the letter to the Philadelphian Church of Revelation 3:7-13, is its affirmation that the door of the church is open. Addressed to the church and its leader, John’s correspondence confirms that revelation nor the gospel is to be received in private or personal devotion. On the contrary, the reason why the door of the church is open is so that the entire church, with all its faults and failures, may experience that its identity hinges on being in relationship to Christ, who is the foundation and head of the church.
Indeed, regardless of people’s politics, culture, economics, or spiritual devotions, apart from the Holy One, the True, the One who has the key of David provisioning that the door of the church is open and no one can close it, apart from Him, there is no church.
This Holy one has a specialized message for the church at Philadelphia; nevertheless, it is a message for churches in all locations and throughout all ages. He has the key of David. This key referenced earlier in the prophetic writings of Isaiah 22:22, alluded to the authority which was taken from Shebna, because of pride, and given to God’s servant, Eliakim who, through nepotism, failed under pressure. Consequently, we ought be reminded that it is only the True One who retains the real authority that assures the door of the church is open.
Having authority to open the door of the church insures that whatever you need for spiritual growth and development is in the house. If you need love, it’s in the house; joy, peace of mind, it’s in the house. Everything that you need, from encouragement to correction, from perseverance to satisfaction, it’s in the house.
Moreover, possessing the key of David not only posits authority, but provides a typological means for understanding the meaning of scripture. Text is used so skillfully by David and the other writers of Holy Writ to make clear that the physical and visible are only a copy or shadow of the invisible and that which is to come. The text itself, the language, is, as Adam in Romans 5:14, is a type of Christ, but a shadow of that which is coming to light. Christ on earth was in fact merely a faint picture of He who is coming reigning in all power and authority.
This is God in His Christ affirming to the church at Philadelphia, the door of the church is open. I know you; I know your works. In the words of Elvina M. Hall, Jesus says to this church, “thy strength indeed is small, child of weakness watch and pray, find in me thine all in all”. Yes, he knows that through weakness, they have kept His word. They have not denied that they know Him; and they have continued to endure despite the hardships of a Christian confession.
As the Holy One spoke to this church, he speaks to us today saying, in the midst of your trials, during your struggles, keep on professing my name. Remember that the door of the church is open, remember that you are a part of God’s community. When offenses and disruptions occur, when wolves come in, remember that Jesus is with You; and that salvation and solace is found only in the church.
Assuredly, the hounds of hell will be biting at your heels, however, no need to worry. The synagogue of Satan shall not prevail against the church of God. They are simply liars, pretending to be what they are not, wolves in sheep clothing. Hereafter, the Lord will make them bow down before you and confess you are the ones whom He truly loves.
Jesus asserts, in Matthew 24:12-13, “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved”. The corrective to the church with an open door is continue to keep God’s command to endure. Do not allow anyone to deceive or dissuade from holding fast to the name of Jesus. Other religions and secular persuasions will come knocking on your door, but hold on to what you have. Stand steadfast, unmovable, abounding in your work for Christ, so that no one takes your crown.
God is looking for consistency of relationship and fellowship with him, not only in joyful times, but throughout periods of life’s sufferings and severe challenges. His promise to us, if we are not tempted to fall away, is to keep us from the hour of great trial, (See Matthew 24:15f.), which is to come upon all the earth.
Christ has made us more than conquerors through His finished work on the cross. He has overcome and has made us to overcome (1 John 5:4-5). Continue to trust your position of overcoming, not allowing the devil to trick you in assuming a lesser role. Again, hold on to what you have, trusting in your security in Christ. There is a clear motivation to endure, for Christ has a supra-dimensional heavenly destiny prepared for all who will so do.
Yes, we cast our eye to that heavenly Canaan where our true possessions lie. Endurance is the path toward that invisible realm wherein we have assurance of a secure position, place, and crown of glory. We shall never have to depart, and no evil shall be able to approach.
I wonder how many of us can truly hear this message? The door of the church is open when there is hearing, true listening to God’s word going on. Hearing or listening is spiritual; and it is essential in the church. People become deaf to a word which disturb their daydreams, challenge their pride or command their obedience. That is why they must come to Christ to have their deafness cured. “He that has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches”. Isaiah 50:4&5, declares, “…He awakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened my ear…”. The door of the church is open.