Message to the church: “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“: “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. 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. 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. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 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. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘ (Revelation 3:7-13)
Spiritual type: People who are governed by truths springing from goodness derived from the Lord. (Apocalypse Revealed §172)
Description: The people of the church in Philadelphia (which translates to “brotherly love”) is praised for their work and their perseverance. These are spiritually mature people, who have faithfully put love into action even in the face of adversity. There is an open door before them which no one can shut. And yet for all that praise, they are said to have only “a little strength.” Why? Because people who have arrived at this state know from experience that their own strength doesn’t get them anywhere. If you’re in Philadelphia, you’ve experienced how little power you have on your own, and you have learned to rely on the Lord’s strength. You’re not perfect – and you know that better than anyone else – but you continue to live in the Lord’s truth, inspired by His love.
Call to action: Unlike the other churches, Philadelphia is not called to turn away from anything, but rather to “hold fast” what they have. Do not rest on your laurels; even though Philadelphia has overcome much, they need to keep pressing forward so they don’t “lose their crown.” Keep faithfully and joyfully living in the Lord’s strength.
Promise: If Philadelphians persevere, they become “pillars the temple.” We still talk about “pillars of the church,” those whose faith and love holds up everyone around them. If you’ve arrived in Philadelphia, you are given the great privilege of mentoring and lifting up your fellow servants on the path.