Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

The Church At Philadelphia

Donald Townsley


1. Twenty-eight miles southeast of Sardis lay the city of Philadelphia.

2. As cities went, it was not a very ancient city.

3. The city was founded by ATTALUS the second in 140 B. C.

4. Attalus was called Philadelphos and the city was called after him.

5. Philadelphia stood at the place where the borders of three countries met . . . MYSIA, LYDIA, and PHRYGIA.

6. Because of its position Philadelphia was the gateway to the east.

7. Philadelphia commanded one of the greatest highways in the world, the highway which led from Europe to the east.

8. The gateway from one continent to another.

9. Philadelphia lay on the edge of a great volcanic area.

(1) In one way this brought prosperity.

A. For that great plain was one of the most fertile areas in the world.

B. A great grape-growing area.

C. An area rich in hot springs.

D. It was a center to which the infirm came to bathe in the waters.

(2) But the very fact which brought prosperity also brought danger.

A. Philadelphia was very subject to earthquakes.

B. When these quakes came, the people would flee the city to open country, when the quakes were over they would come back to the city. Rev. 3:12.

10. Philadelphia was a famous center of heathen worship, it had many temples to heathen gods.

(1) Philadelphia had a custom which concerned these temples.

(2) When a man had served the state well, a pillar was erected in one of the temples with his name upon it. Rev, 3:12.

I. The Description Of The Speaker:

1. "Holy" Separated from all evil ...Acts 2:27 'holy one." Heb. 7:26 -who is holy."

2 "True," genuine, real.

3. He is holy and true in CONTRAST with the wicked and non-genuine.

4. "Has the key of David." (Isa. 22:22)

(1) The key of the house of David was kept by the steward of his house.

(2) It was his responsibility to grant or deny access to the king.

(3) The key is the symbol of power.

(4) Today he has all the power. Matt. 28:18.

(5) He is reigning NOW on David's throne. I Cor. 15:23-25, Acts 2:29-35.

5. "He that openeth, and no man shutteth." v. 7.

(1) This power and authority belongs exclusively to Christ and is shared with NO individual or organization on this earth.

(2) Christians must recognize his authority alone. Eph. 1:22-23,

II. A Church With "An Open Door:" Vs. 8

1. The "open door" is a symbol of the great opportunity before the church in Philadelphia to preach the gospel. I Cor. 16:9; II Cor. 2:12; Col. 4:3.

2. Before them was a door to usefulness in the kingdom of Christ.

3. No man could close this door of opportunity... The adversaries could not.

4. We could have an open door of opportunity.

(1) The door of self-improvement ...Bible study, church attendance.

(2) The door of opportunity to convert others.

(3) The door of prayer.

(4) The door to use our money.

III. A Church With "A Little Power:"

1. This church no doubt was small and without abundant resources.

2. They were great in the Lord's sight.

3. God can perform wonders with little things.

(1) 1 Cor. 1:25-29.

(2) David's sling and stone. I Sam. 17:49.

4. We all need to learn that "the battle is the Lord's." I Sam. 17:47.

IV. A Church With Heaven's Commendation: Vs. 8

1. "Has kept my word." V 8

(1) They patiently endured during opposition and persecution. V 10.

2. "Has not denied my name." V 8.

(1) Matt. 10:32, 33.

V. Enemies To Be Exposed And Punished: V 9


VII. Promised Reward: V 12.

1. "Pillar in the temple" ... Blessed in God's service and exalted.

2. "Write upon him the name of my God"...It signifies identity and divine recognition.

3. Identified with "New Jerusalem" or the church of the living God. Accepted as one of the redeemed throng.

4. "My new name." Christ will claim the faithful before the Father.

-1224 Ashland Ave. Louisville 15, Ky.