The Open Door

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: 'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie―I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; 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 My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" (NASB)


An Open Door

The church in Philadelphia is presented as the most upright of the seven churches. The Lord gave to this church an open door, which no one can stand in the middle to close and which remains open leading to prosperity.


"An open door" here means an open, prosperous road. Why is it then expressed as an open door instead of a prosperous road? It is to show that when we come toward God we will go through various steps one by one in our way, even when it is prosperous; we will encounter a new obstacle after we overcome an old one, and we will still face another difficulty after we overcome it. It is by step by step that our faith advances experiencing a distinctive, new world, new strength, new understanding, new power, new peace, and new thanksgiving of rejoicing, all in layers. Also what is accomplished does not mean it is finished; we will be led to an obstacle as we come to a door which is shut but to be opened, and we will be led to another difficulty after we overcome the obstacle. Those who overcome know what they have gone through, but others who have not reached and passed the same door will not know what lies ahead.


The church in Philadelphia had had many doors, and the One who had the key of David opened the door for them so that they could advance toward the Lord continuing in prosperity and victory, with no one who could check them in the way. Now that the church in Philadelphia was given an open door of the Lord, what fruits would they bear as a result? A few of the fruits are written here.


Consequences of the Open Door

First, they who receive the open door will bear fruits that those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie, will be caused to come and bow down at their feet; powers among believers not guided by the Holy Spirit but by the evil spirit, who afflict the true church of God, will come and bow down at the feet of those who receive the open door.


Saints following true way will be engaged in strifes, struggles, and confrontations with all the hypocritical people of God, and it is unlikely that judgments are manifested before both parties pass away, with true facts exposed. The church in Philadelphia that God gave the open door will contend with all the silly, deceitful brethren, in many respects, and those adversaries will come and bow down, before the church in Philadelphia disappears or dies out, to acknowledge that God goes with and loves this church. This is written first here.


The righteous believers will try to turn to righteousness those brethren who cannot understand the truth and who are swallowed by darkness to work for the evil spirit to oppose the righteous as Israelites opposed Jesus in His days. Also in old days prophets told nothing but the truth only to be murdered, and after a long time descendants built tombs and reerected monuments of the prophets regretfully. But divine judgments were not provided on the spot while both parties, the righteous and unrighteous, were alive.


However, it was different for the church of Philadelphia that received the open door in that the church would bear fruits the first of which is written in verse 9: "Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie―I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you." This tells us that it would be most difficult for believers to convince wrong believers to repent what they believed wrong and to admit what the righteous believed right.


Believers in family, church, or denomination who belong to those that are given the open door are said to witness before they die that the young and weak brethren, who oppose the truth and who are taken hold of by Satan the Devil, will come and bow down and acknowledge that God indeed loves them who have been given the open door, and repent. This means the one who is given the open door can, before his or her death, turn toward the Lord those pitiable brethren who are taken hold of Satan and ignorant to oppose the truth. This victory is first promised.


Next, there is no believer but is tested in
this or that, all kinds of aspects. The church in Philadelphia is promised to be kept from the hour of testing, which is to come upon the whole world; the Lord promises that He will make them overcome all difficulties. To keep one from the hour of testing does not mean to exempt the one from the hour of testing; it means to keep the one from failing in the testing and to enable the one to pass it: "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing" means that the Lord will make them not fail but conquer the test. This is the second fruit the one will bear who is given the open door.


Third, "I will make him a pillar in the temple if you do not betray but take hold of this open door." They are promised to become essential people of the Church of God―it is said, "James and Cephas and John who were reputed to be pillars." A pillar in the temple means a chief person in the Church of God who can benefit the Church of God in grace. This victory is promised the third.


Countless people have been benefited in grace through such teachers as Calvin for several hundred years; Stephen, Abel, and Paul all passed away in history, but they are still working inside our minds to encourage us whenever we face difficulties. Such institutions of grace are called as the pillars of the Church. It is said that these three fruits will result to the one that is given the open door.


In verse 12, "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; 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 My new name." It is said that the one who is given the open door will be written on oneself the name of God the Father, the name of the new Jerusalem the kingdom of heaven, and the name of Jesus.


The one who is given the open door will be recognized, by both contemporaries under heaven and descendants after many years, as a man of God, of the heaven, and of Jesus. The person becomes the one that all the others regard highly, and everybody will be made to realize God through the person, to realize the kingdom of heaven through the person, and to realize Jesus through the person. And it is said that the Lord will let the one who is given the open door bear the fruit to testify so that everybody will come to know that God indeed exists, that the kingdom of heaven indeed exists, and that Jesus indeed exists who suffered, performed, and redeemed vicariously for their sakes on the cross.


Aram was an enemy to Israel, and a little, humble maidservant there declared to the country that God indeed exists, that the kingdom of heaven indeed exists, and that there was a prophet in Israel. Even though she was a female slave taken captive in war, she was regarded as a woman of God, a woman of the kingdom of heaven, and a true prophetess of God. How did this happen? The maidservant had received the open door.


In Persia God was not regarded but exceedingly made light of. There was Daniel, the only person through whom God brought it to light that Daniel himself was a man of God, a man of the kingdom of heaven, and a true prophet of God; also Daniel preached God, the kingdom of heaven, and God's salvation to the country, so that a light was manifested so powerfully that no one was allowed but who would serve God in the country, temporarily though.


"I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of Jerusalem ... and My new name." To write the new name of the Lord means that the Lord will work what works He will do through the person. It is also said in John 14:23, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, will come to him and make Our abode with him."


This church in Philadelphia was given the open door. What did this bring forth? First, they had power to save opposing brethren who saw the light so as to come and bow down and to understand that God indeed loved them. Second, they could pass all the tests when they were tested together with all the other saints under heaven. Third, their open door bore fruit of becoming a pillar of the Church to benefit numerous saints in grace―now they would not go out of the Church to be overcome by the world.


Also they bore fruit of recognition that all, believers and non-believers alike, regarded them as belonging to God, the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus, indeed. Further they bore fruit to manifest God to atheists, to reveal the dread judgment to those living carelessly in the world, to introduce the kingdom of heaven beyond the judgment, and to preach the Savior the Mediator to those professing the life in this world only.


The Key of David

What is the open door that the church in Philadelphia was given? The door is expressed in context of "He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David." The One who has this key is Jesus Himself. Now that He is God and the Savior, why is it that it is expressed as the key of David?


Jesus was expressed through the Holy Spirit as "Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." God called Abraham as the Father of believers because he could be a model in faith of many saints in history, and thus the name Abraham is referred to as a man of faith or the father in faith, or we say a person is a son of Abraham when the aspect of faith is considered.


The name David is associated with the lineage of sovereignty. God has been reigning until now since the days of the theocratic Israel which He Himself reigned, and He chose David to present as a model of God's sovereignty since he was a man of upright power. When God saves His people, He works through a prophet of lineage of His wisdom, or a priest of lineage of His love, or a king of lineage of His power. That is why we are called a royal priesthood, and prophets of God.


Here "who is holy ... true" means that Jesus was chosen Savior of the creation among the multitude because He was better than any other being. "The key of David" represents the model of mighty sovereignty of Davidic lineage, besides the lineage of priest, or love, and the lineage of prophet, or wisdom and knowledge. This lineage of the mighty sovereignty of God has been inherited through Jesus who is holy and true. The offices of priest and prophet work when everything is settled, after this ruling power of victory and conquest has first worked.


The key of David means all of everything important, or it means that everything is possible. A key means an access to occupy a castle, house, palace, or storehouse. This is also a model or symbolism. Jesus has the key of David. Sovereign rule of victorious kingship was inherited to David and to Jesus. Jesus has the most essential thing which is all of the power of sovereignty and conquering victory, or the key, and He has put an open door before the church in Philadelphia with the key―sovereignty of David who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one will open. This sovereignty decides success or failure and life or death―all; no one will interfere when the church in Philadelphia opens a way of salvation, and no one will open when the church shuts a way of salvation.


"I have put an open door which no one can shut." "I have given you an open door, or victory that can sustain, or prosperity that can endure, and you will bear fruits; you will be empowered to make your false brethren yield to you to return to the Lord, you will overcome all temptations, you will benefit the entire Church of God, you will never compromise with the world, you will let your light shine before everyone, manifesting yourself as of God's, of Jesus', and of the kingdom of heaven's, you will reveal God to atheists, you will declare the judgment and the kingdom of heaven to those confessing this world only, and you will preach the Savior the Mediator to the desperate world. You will bear these fruits unless you abandon this open door."


Meaning of the Open Door

It is said, "Given this open door, hold fast what you have, so that no one will take it." What is this open door? It is stipulated in verse 8: "You have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name." God gave His people the power of the kingdom of heaven ruling in conquest and victory―so now victory has been given, an open door has been given, prosperity has been given, and the power has been given. "If you hold this fast, you will bear glorious fruits to benefit both yourself and others. You will raise many people, and you will become a person indispensible to raise from death and to serve the whole creation.


A door means a way, and there are many alleged ways leading to success. We pursue our way of success employing our will power, or our way of success and victory acquiring much knowledge, or our way of victorious and prosperous way of life using our natural wisdom, understanding, and intelligence superior to others', or our ways of salvation resorting to means of
this sort or that sort.


None of these ways is what the Lord has opened who is holy and true that has the key of David; these are all what Satan has opened. "I have acquired more knowledge than anyone else, so through my knowledge I will attain my salvation and my aim, I will overcome, I will work gospel movements to save myself and others, and I will work reform works; I have will power stronger than anyone else's, so I will try to do using my will power; I am well trained and disciplined in
this or that, so I will go my way using it." We see so many ways to go.


One takes
this door, another takes that door, but these are not from the absolute power of the kingdom of heaven. These are not the way that is guaranteed of the absolute victory, which the power furnishes so that it will not be obstructed but be pursued in victory and prosperity to wherever it leads.


The church in Philadelphia did not adopt a different means or basis of faith to walk therein. The church employed all, whether excellent or poor, of what was available to them―they did not try to employ what they did not have―to keep the word of God and serve the name of the Lord, not denying it; they understood and chose this means to pursue their way in faith. This is the way of victory the power of the Absolute One gives, and so is the open door.


No one will hinder the one walking this way in faith in this means with this power. Why is it so? God starts in this way when He gives man the kingdom of heaven to construct; this is what God takes as His means and His way, and there is no other way but this. This is what the power of God has given the saints as the way of victory, and the way of power, and the way of completion. It is the Lord that has the key of David. Why is then the name of David used? It is to relate the lineage of sovereignty in the kingdom of heaven.


This is the only open door given to mankind when it comes to the power of construction, struggle, victory, and sovereignty. The open door is this only. We are not to loose this door, this way, and this means we have been given. It matters nothing whether we are not well educated or we are less competitive, and we should not abandon this way; then we will witness that our adversaries will be subdued and submit to us and false brethren will be preached the gospel, that we will be made a pillar in the temple, that we will not go out from the temple, and that we will have the name of God, the name of Jerusalem, and His new name that conquers day by day and that is written on ourselves. Anyone can tell whose people we are and to whom we belong―we are the people of the kingdom of heaven, we are God's people, and we are Jesus'. Also God, the new Jerusalem which is the kingdom of heaven, and the Lord will be brought to light in the dark world.


The Lord boasted to God, "They now know You through Me, they know You as I know You, they look to You as I look to You, and they acknowledge that You are true as I acknowledge that You are true." We should take hold of this fast and not loose this if we are to bear these fruits. This is peculiar only to the church of Philadelphia―their peculiar means and peculiar power. This power is connected through a way in the lineage to the sovereignty and the power of the kingdom of heaven.


Which way is it? It is the way that God opened for us―we are to devote all of our weak ability to keep the word of God so as not to deny the name of God. We are not required to perform what is beyond our ability, but to pour all of ours to keep the word of God and to serve and manifest the name of the Lord. We should be resolved to follow this way to receive victory as a gift from God. The victory is given as gift, and the prosperity is given as gift, too.


We may take our way differently―"Even though I have not secured the gift from God, I will try employing my money to attain the kingdom of heaven of God and victory in faith; I will try using my determination, tactics, knowledge, honor, or authority or office." Unless it is the only way to the open door given by God, or the faithfulness of pouring all, any way adopted as one's way in faith is the temptation of Satan, sideways, and beating of the air in the end. The way trodden by the one pouring all is endless, and this way is prosperous leading to the open door.

Why is it endless? Take an example. It is impossible for us to go up there, but we devote all our strength faithfully as far as we can, to find ourselves already up there, or here. We do not know exactly how we could come up where we are as this place is what we said we could not reach. Now we tried our best and we could somehow reach here which seemed to be impossible for us to reach. Again we try every strength of ours to reach another seemingly insurmountable aim. This repeats again. Pour all of our apparently weak strength for the name of the Lord and the truth looking to the Lord, then our way is endless infinity and perfection and victory to the end. This is Christianity.


It is only through faithfulness that Christianity is established, and the Scripture says that anyone who will try with any other capital flashy and great in the world is to perish with that capital―"You thought you could obtain the gift of God with money or secular authority. May your money or authority perish with you." Everything is His and what He created, and the works of His blood demands that we devote all faithfully only.


Let everybody pray on their own. Do not be vain. Nothing is significant before God―our knowledge, authority, ability, diligence, self-confidence, understanding, or wisdom. God will not receive dearly anything but what we devote in its entirety to Him. This is the only way to pursue steadfastly to pass all tests, to fulfill all tasks, and to manifest all to be recognized by all.