Revelation 3:7-9

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Rev 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Rev 3:9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Introduction

There are two of the messages of the spirit to the seven angels, in which “he that hath and ear” will hear of nothing negative. The first was the message of the spirit to the angel of the church of Smyrna, and the second is this angel, the angel of the church of Philadelphia.

The message we covered last week was to the angel of the church of Sardis. The spirit told the angel of the church of Sardis that even though it had a name that it lived, in actual fact the angel of the church of Sardis is spiritually dead:

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

The angel of the church at Thyatira was tolerating the teachings of the doctrines of Jezebel, and had come to know the depths of Satan, in his speaking.

Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [ are] like fine brass;
Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Rev 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

The angel of the church of Pergamos dwells where Satan’s very throne is, has the doctrines of Balaam, and the doctrines of the Nicholaitans.

Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas [ was] my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

The angel of the church at Ephesus has “left his first love.”

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Why would the angel of the church in Smyrna or Philadelphia need to hear what the spirit has to say to the other five angels? The answer, once again, is that these angels are all within “he that has an ear to hear… he that reads… and he that keeps the things written therein.” And so we are seven times told:

Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Also, let us never forget the first and last admonition of this prophecy:

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

So “the time is at hand to read hear and keep these words”

Rev 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

“He that is holy and true,” Christ, has “the key of David.” It is with this “key of David” that he that is holy and true, “opens and no man shuts,” and it is with this “key of David” that He that is holy and true “shuts and no man opens.” What could this “key of David possibly be? And what does this “key of David” open and shut?

The very next verse tells us:

Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Apparently this ‘key of David’ opens a door that “no man can shut,” but we were just told that it also “shuts and no man opens.” So while verse 8 tells us that “he that hath and ear,” has been given an “open door that no man can shut,” let us not fail to see that this same “key of David” also serves to shut that same door so that no man can open it. What then is this key, and what is this door? What do the scriptures teach us concerning this “key of David,” and what do the scriptures tell us is this door?

In the World Wide Church Of God, a church in which I and many others spent some time, we were told that this “key of David” was the understanding of the doctrine of British Israelism. I actually believed that for about a whole decade. But if  we were to believe that doctrine, or any of the dispensational doctrines which now permeate the orthodox Christian world, what then would we do with “This generation will not pass away until all these things shall be fulfilled?” Dispensationalism, in all of its various forms, nullifies those words of Christ and make Him nothing more than a common liar.

Remember this book of Revelation, like the parables of Christ,  is a book of signs and symbols. After all, this is Christ speaking “unto His servants… signified… unto His servant John:”

Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and sign ified it by his angel unto his servant John:

This “key of David… must shortly come to pass,” means it is “even at the door… [ and] this generation will not pass till all these things shall be fulfilled.” So whatever this key and this door are, they are both fulfilled in the life of “he that hath an ear.”

Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

These are words which took place in that generation and are taking place in this generation and have “never passed away.”

The force of this particular symbol is taken from Isa 22 where the corrupt keeper of the house of David, one Shebna,  is prophesied to be replaced by Eliakim, a man who is faithful to God and His people. All those with eyes that see and ears that hear, know that these two men represent and signify and symbolize the same two men we see through out all of God’s Word. They are but types and shadows of the first and the last Adam. They are but types and shadows of the old man, Adam and the ‘new Adam,’ Christ. Where do we find the old man, the first Adam, in this prophecy?

Isa 22:15 Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say,
Isa 22:16 What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?
Isa 22:17 Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.

Shebna has the key to the house of David, and he is, in effect, being told that the key to the house of David, would be taken from him and given to another who would be “faithful in all his house.”

Isa 22:19 And I will drive thee [ Shebna] from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down.
Isa 22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
Isa 22:21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
Isa 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

So now we know through the principle of “the sum of thy word” and the principle of  “line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little,” that the “key of David [ which] opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens,” is actually the “key of the house of David.”

There has always been much speculation about what is this “key of David” here in Rev 3:7. The commentaries note Isa 22 and conclude that is was a literal key which was carried on a shoulder strap by the man who King David and his successors placed “over the house.” ‘Over the house,’ means over the affairs of the house of David. It was the highest honor that could be bestowed on anyone in the kingdom to be placed next to the king, “over the house” and have “the key of David.” Many of the commentaries even note that Christ ascribes this key to Himself in Rev 3:7. That is as far as their understanding goes.

The only thing we need to ask now is what is “the house of David?” The literal, physical “house of David,” regardless of the teachings of the false doctrine of British Israelism, is no longer to be found, any more then there is now a physical priest offering physical “sacrifices unto God.”

Jer 33:17 For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
Jer 33:18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.

If this is a physical statement, where are “the priests the Levites… offering burnt offerings… doing sacrifice continually ” today? Where are they??? If there are no physical priests, physically offering sacrifices” then neither is there a physical throne, neither in England nor in Israel. so much for the dispensational approach to “Words which never pass away.”

So what do the scriptures tell us constitutes the True “house of David” or “tabernacle of David?” Here is the true “house of David” to which the “key of David” will either open up to us or else shut us out:

Act 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Act 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
Act 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
Act 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
Act 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

There is “the tabernacle of David.” There is “the house of David.” That is where are “the residue of men… and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called.” So says the apostle James. That is what is meant by “he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” No man can shut Christ out of those to whom He comes, and no man can come to God except the spirit drag him.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [ Greek, drag] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

How humbling and humiliating to our flesh is the Word of God!

Who is sitting on the throne of that tabernacle? Who is sitting on the throne of the house of David? It is ” he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” It is Jesus Christ, and according to Isa 22, He gives that key to “the keeper of His house.” He gives “the key of David” to His elect, who make up that house, who are “seated with Him in the heavens” and who constitute His priesthood “to offer sacrifices before him continually:”

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Eph 2:6 And hath raised [ us] up together, and made [ us] sit together in heavenly [ places] in Christ Jesus:
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Christ both has “the key of David” and He is the key of David, because He is both the key and the door in which the key fits:

Joh 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The natural man will reason that Christ cannot be both the shepherd of the sheep and the door through which the shepherd enters into the sheepfold. But Christ so identifies with us as His body that He has no such qualms. He, in us, sees Himself as both the shepherd of the sheep and the door through which the shepherd must pass to enter into the sheepfold.

In keeping with what James says in Act 15 several years later, Christ taught the same doctrine. He is not only “the tabernacle of David,” but He is also both the door of the sheepfold and “the good shepherd” who enters by that door:

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

“The house of David… the tabernacle of David… the sheepfold… the door of the sheepfold… the key of the house of David, and the key of David,” are one and all Christ and His Christ.” He is the light of the world, and we are the light of the world. He is the bread sent down from heaven, and we are one bread. As His Father has sent Him, even so He has sent us. As he is, so are we in this world. He is the Word, and if His Word is in us, we are His word. He is not ashamed to call us His brothers.

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

For thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

What do we have here? Is this an admonition to have more strength? That is what many of the commentaries will tell you, and we certainly are told to “be strong in the Lord.”

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

But is it not possible to be “of little strength” and to, at the same time, be strong in the Lord? Once again, that which seems so contradictory to the mind of the natural man is exactly what the spirit tells us:

2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

How does that work? It works as all things spiritual work. The natural man cannot receive the things of the spirit because they are foolishness to Him.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The natural man cannot receive the things of the spirit because the spirit requires the death of the natural man. It is only when the natural man sees himself as dead that the spirit can live. It is only when the natural man sees himself as chief of sinners that the spirit can be saved, and it is only when we see ourselves as weak and of little strength that we are strong in the spirit of Christ. It is only when we have been humbled and crushed to powder and made to feel so very small that the spirit can come into our lives and give us the needed strength to do His Work. Here is what the spirit has to say about “little things.”

Zec 4:10  For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
Mat 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Just look at what is promised to those who “have a little strength:”

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Who are those who are “of the synagogue of Satan? It is those who “say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie.” The whole world is blind to the spiritual truth of this one verse and the many others which confirm this verse:

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

Who then is a true Jew? Here is what “the natural man cannot receive.”

Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The whole world denies the truth of these verses, and those who declare them as true are despised and rejected by those who actually call themselves God’s spiritual Jews. That’s exactly right. The orthodox Christian world claims to be spiritual Jews, and with the same breath they declare “he which is a Jew outwardly” is also a Jew. God has blinded the eyes of the whole world to the words “he is NOT a Jew which is one outwardly.” The one thing that is consistent about the natural man is that He never denies the flesh a place in the kingdom of God, and that is in spite of this very plain and simple Truth:

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

How will “they of the synagogue of Satan “come and worship before thy feet?” They will do so in great torment of figurative flames of fire, believing that their own lives are at stake. This whole scenario, as many of the mysteries of the book of Revelation,  is prefigured for us in the book of Genesis, where Joseph is God’s type and shadow of His elect, whose own brothers must be made to see that their father loves his elect Son.. The “synagogue of Satan” is typified by the rejected “seed of Abraham” who persecute and seek to destroy the elect and chosen “seed of Abraham.”

Gen 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
Gen 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. [I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.]
Gen 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
Gen 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
Gen 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
Gen 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
Gen 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
Gen 37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

That’s right, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were mere carnal types of Christ, just as physical Israel is but a carnal type of God’s elect. The spiritual, true “father of the faithful” is the true ‘Abraham’ who will be “in the kingdom, while the physical Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will “come to bow themselves to thee to the ground.” Who is the true “father of the faithful?” Is it the Abraham of the Old Testament? What do the scriptures teach us?

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Christ is “the everlasting Father,” but is He really also Abraham?

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” The answer is yes, Jacob and Rachel, Abraham and Isaac will come and bow down to Christ and His elect, who are typified by Joseph, and they will all come “to know that God has loved us” above all our brothers, who say that they are Jews but are not, but do lie.”

1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

That is another “NOT” which cannot be seen by the natural man, or by those who are of “the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews but are not, but do lie.” To all of this the writer of Hebrews agrees:

Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

The “better things” of this verse are the same “things which are now reported unto you… the salvation of which the prophets inquired [ to which prophets] it was revealed that not to themselves but to us they did minister…”

The apostle Paul gives us the same message:

1Co 10:11 Now all this befalls them typically. Yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained. (CLV).

The King James puts it this way:

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

The ends of the ages, or as the Concordant Version puts it, “the consummation of the eons” are come upon us, not on those who typify us in the Old Testament. So Joseph’s father and His mother will not be in the first resurrection, and for that matter, neither will Joseph because Christ said this:

Luk 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

According to our Lord, John the Baptist was as great as Noah or Job or Daniel or King David or any of the prophets. But He goes on to say that “He that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than any of the Old Testament patriarchs, kings or prophets or any man “born of women” to that time. All of these verses tell us that that coming of Christ was a time or reformation, at which the Truth about mankind’s relationship with God, and how that relationship was to be attained, was finally and for the very first time revealed as a spiritual relationship. Here is how our Lord Himself worded this wonderful new revelation of Himself and His relationship with us and with His Father:

Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

When is that hour? Is this a dispensational statement, or is this a spiritual statement which would never pass away?

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

There is no article in the Greek. It is simply “God spirit,” and should read ‘God is spirit…” Add to this Joh 6:63, and we have a much clearer picture of what constitutes “spirit and truth.”

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

So much for the dispensational approach to the Word Of God, and so much for the doctrine of a fleshly ‘bodily resurrection.’ It is never to be.

Conclusion

We have seen again that all the messages to all seven of the churches are really all to “he that hath an ear.” We have seen in the scriptures that Christ both is the key of David, and He gives Himself, as that key, to His elect to whom he gives charge of “the house of David.” We saw that the apostle James informed us that “the tabernacle of David” is Christ coming in His own body comprised of both Jews and Gentiles, and we saw that the only way God will recognize us as being Jews is if we are in Christ. Any thing else, including those who really are outward Jews “is not a Jew” in the eyes of Jesus Christ.

We have seen that having a little strength is the only way to be strong in Christ, and that we must never “despise the days of small things,” because that is what the scattered flock of Christ is, was and always will be.

Finally, we saw that the only person who is a Jew in Christ’s eyes is the person who is in Christ, and that being an outward Jew alone is to be “NOT a Jew.” We have seen the scriptures which reveal that physical Jerusalem is no longer relevant to the worship of the one and only True God. We saw the scriptures which reveal that the physical pedigrees of all of the Old Testament patriarch, kings and prophets “profit nothing” and that the only way now to worship God is in the spirit and truth which are Christ and His Word. “Spirit and truth” are the words Christ has spoken, and it is impossible to worship God outside of knowing Christ and living His words.

Next week, Lord willing, we will learn what is “the word of Christ’s patience,” and how we must “keep the word of Christ’s patience,” and how that ties in with being “kept from the hour of temptation…”

Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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