Today, Friday March 04
Victory Over the Enemy Revelation 3:9-13 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. And 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." '
The Church of Philadelphia was the faithful missionary church! They stayed faithful to the Word of God! They were not ashamed to identify with the Lord Jesus Christ! They were faithful to persevere through the trials. They were faithful to go through the “open doors” of opportunities to serve and share Jesus Christ! But whenever and wherever there is a church or a believer that is being obedient to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, you can rest assured there will be opposition from Satan. This church faced opposition from the Jews in the city (Rev. 3:9). This was really the opposition of Satan, for we do not battle against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12).
How were these Jews opposing the church at Philadelphia? For one thing, by excluding Jewish believers from the synagogue. Another weapon was probably false accusation, for this is the way the unbelieving Jews often attacked Paul. Satan is the accuser and he uses even religious people to assist him (Rev. 12:10). It is not easy to witness for Christ when the leading people in the community are spreading lies about you. The church at Smyrna faced the same kind of opposition (Rev. 2:9).
The believers in Philadelphia were in a similar situation to that of Paul when he wrote 1 Corinthians 16:9—there were both opportunities and obstacles! Unbelief sees the obstacles, but faith sees the opportunities! And since the Lord holds the keys, He is in control of the outcome! So what do we have to fear? Nobody can close the doors as long as He keeps them open. Fear, unbelief, and delay have caused the church to miss many God-given opportunities.
The Savior gave three wonderful and encouraging promises to this church. First, He would take care of their enemies (Rev. 3:9). One day, the enemies of the cross will bow (Phil. 2:10-11) and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and that the Christians were right! If we take care of God's work, He will surely take care of our battles.
Second, He would keep them from Tribulation (Rev. 3:10). This is surely a reference to the time of Tribulation that John described in Revelation 6-19, "the time of Jacob's trouble." This is not speaking about some local trial, because it involves "them that dwell on the earth" (Rev. 6:10; 8:13; 17:2, 8). I believe that Revelation 3:10 is a promise that the church will not go through the Tribulation, but will be taken to heaven before it begins (1 Thess. 4:13-5:11). The admonition, "Behold, I come quickly," would strengthen this view.
The third promise to the Philadelphians is that God would honor them (Rev. 3:12). Ancient cities often honored great leaders by erecting pillars with their names inscribed on them. God's pillars are not made of stone, because there is no temple in the heavenly city (Rev. 21:22). His pillars are faithful people who bear His name for His glory (Gal. 2:9).
Today when the Lord opens the doors, we must work; if He shuts the doors, we must wait. Above all, we must be faithful to Him and see the opportunities, not the obstacles.