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Revelation 3:7a





7 And [kai] to the angel [aggelos] of the church [ekklesia] in [en] Philadelphia [Philadelpheia] write; [grapho] These things [hode] saith [lego] he that is holy, [hagios] he that is true, [alethinos] he that hath [echo] the key [kleis] of David, [Dabid] he that openeth, [anoigo] and [kai] no man [oudeis] shutteth; [kleio] and [kai] shutteth, [kleio] and [kai] no man [oudeis] openeth; [anoigo]    KJV-Interlinear



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



Philadelphia, certainly not the city of 'brotherly love', was not as ancient as most of the other cities in Asia Minor.  Started sometime after 200 BC, it went by several names.Decapolis, Neo-kaisaria, and Ala-shehir were the three other names it has had.


It grew wealthy as one of ten cities on the plains where it sits, but was totally destroyed by an earthquake at one time.  In the early 1400's it was captured and a wall of corpses was built around the city.  So you could say the city had its good times and when the times were bad, well, they were really bad.


It promoted its prosperity and commercial interactions and this is perhaps where the brotherly love came from.  Either that or the many temples where various sex rituals were performed.


But Christ addresses this church from yet another title of His.From He who is holy, true, and possessor of the key of David. 


Since this letter to the Church of Philadelphia is a little more complex, we will spend a bit more time on this single verse.  Philadelphia is the second of the two churches that received no complaint.


Nothing in life can be designated as holy unless God designates it as such.And anything designated as holy, has to possess the character or resources of God.  No city has this ability.  Economics cannot make a city or anyone individual holy.Mental ability cannot make anyone holy.Physical ability cannot make anyone holy.Government, politics, military power cannot make anyone or any group holy.  And Christ addresses all of these.


A city of commerce and civil interactions, none of the activities of the city can solve the problems of mankind.  Thus God, Jesus Christ, points out the truth of life.God is holy, the possessor of true righteousness (lack of sin), and true justice (application for fair practice, honor and solutions to problems).  These two things, righteousness and justice, combine together to make and form Holiness.  Only God can possess this, and only God can assign it to others, and He does but in a specifically prescribed manner, salvation.


The world tries to define holiness in its own short sighted way.Religion in the world has bastardized the term into meaning just about anything that is convenient to mankind.There are two major categories in theology - Religion and Christianity.  Religion is not Christianity, and Christianity is not a religion.


Religion is broadly defined as man seeking the approbation of God by mans own efforts.  Religion leaves God out of the picture except for superficial observations approving mankind as man advances in his own humanity and eventually achieves the level acceptable by God. 


Religion is an invention of Satan to dilute the gospel and the principles taught by the Bible.  Religion is set to confuse people as to what is right and what is wrong.Religion's goal is to distract people away from Bible study and impress and entertain them with its own definition of spirituality, holiness, righteousness and so forth.  As a distracter of true Biblical principles, religion is then evil.


Christianity, on the other hand, is not a religion.Christianity is a relationship.A relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 


Christianity recognizes mans worthlessness and inability to do anything about his predicament is sin and death.  Christianity recognizes that God does all the work, that God gets all the credit, that God alone receives the Glory, and that our relationship with God is a gift from Him to us which we receive in exchange for only our belief in what God teaches us and tells us that is true. 


Faith is non-meritorious thought.   We gain no credit for thinking.   Most people can't think anyway!  If the wind blows and your ears whistle a little bit, well there you have it, and an empty head will emit sounds in a breeze.That is all that the world is capable of, making noise, empty noise.


God is truth, truth is doctrine.  Life is not truth, mathematics evidence of truth, science is evidence truth, however philosophy is not truth.These are merely mans discoveries or interpretations, sometimes wrong, of what God has invented.  None of them can solve mans problem of sin and death, however.


They can define new technology and make mans life 'temporarily' more convenient from the work that goes along with our presence in this world, but death overtakes us all eventually and nothing in this universe can prevent that.  Truth provides the answer to the stumbling blocks of life, which is sin and death.


The previous five letters drew from the vision described in Rev. 1:12-17, however this letter does not draw from that vision.


The Old Testament describes God as the Holy, 2 Kings 19:22; Job 6:10; Ps 71:22; 78:41; Isa 43:15; 54:5; Hab 3:3, Isa 6:3, Rev 4.Saying that God is holy means that He is separate from sin, and therefore His is absolutely unblemished and flawless and perfect.


Jesus Christ is referred to (by demons no less), as the Holy One, Mk 1:24.


Announcing His birth to Mary, the angel described Jesus as ‘the holy Child,’ Luke 1:35.


Peter said of Jesus, ‘We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God,’ John 6:69.

Later Peter rebuked the unbelieving Jews because they ‘disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer,’ Acts 3:14.


Thus, only God is holy. Jesus Christ is called holy.This reaffirms yet again that Jesus Christ is God.And since holiness must be a state of perfection, man cannot become holy unless God makes him so.  No one else can bring something unholy into a state of holiness.



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