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. The Lord Jesus gave His credentials to the Church in Philadelphia before He made His pronouncements.
The Lord Jesus is holy. Luke 1:35 …. that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Hebrews 7:26: “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; “ The Lord Jesus Christ is holy, so He expects us to be holy. He lives within us, so our behavior ought to be holy. 1Peter 1:15 reads: But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. The Church in Philadelphia “kept His word” and they did not deny His Name. They lived holy.
The Lord Jesus is true. He said in John 14:6: “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John the Apostle said in John 1:14 …..”we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” What a sight to behold! No wonder multitudes gathered to see Him. No one was ever seen like the Lord Jesus before Him or afterwards. There was a “WOW” factor in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the truth personified. Ephesians 4:20, 21 reads: But you have not so learned Christ, 21: If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus. The Lord Jesus is in us and we should speak the truth and live the truth.
The Lord Jesus has the key of David. In Isaiah chapter 22, God told Isaiah, He was taking away the stewardship of David’s kingdom from Shebna and was giving it to Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. God said He will lay the key of the house of David on Eliakim’s shoulder. Isaiah 22:15-22. Eliakim will not hold the key in his hand. God placed it on his shoulder. The responsibility of the key was placed temporarily on Eliakim. The Lord Jesus is the Son of David and the Root of Jesse. He now has the key and He knows who are Jews and who are not. He knows who are in His kingdom and who are not. He knows who are fake believers and those who are real in Him. Rev 3:9
The Lord Jesus has the authority to open and to shut. In Isaiah 22:22 God said Eliakim “shall open and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open.” God will make it happen for Eliakim, because God is the One who will be opening and shutting. In Revelation 3:7 The Lord Jesus states emphatically, He opens and no one shuts. He shuts and no one opens. The Lord Jesus knew the works of the Church in Philiadelphia. He knew they kept His Word and they did not deny His Name. He gave them an open door – a new opportunity. They also kept His command to persevere. He also will shut them in from the hour of trial. The Church in Philadelphia had “little strength”, but they persevered. They lived holy lives and they were rewarded.
The Lord did not condemn the church at Philadelphia for having a “little strength”. Instead He rewarded them for keeping His Word and for not denying His Name. These things are more important to God than having much strength. The Apostle Paul said in 2Corinthians 12:10 ….”For when I am weak, then I am strong”. NKJV