The Philadelphia Church of Revelations 3:7 is one of the seven churches of Asia Minor identified in Apostle John's great revelation. Detailing things past, present and future, John is given prophetic insight into things pertaining to God's dealing with the earth and its inhabitants.
While acknowledging only one Church of the Lord Jesus Christ which scripture reveals as the body of Christ, Revelation shows us that the Church is divided into seven churches, with an anointing ministered to each of these seven "divisions" by a special angel (or spirit) set over that part of the Church. It is as if there are seven distinctly different churches (ecclesias) ordained within the Church (ecclesia), the body of Christ.
Each of these seven churches receive a different anointing for their relationship to God based upon their ability to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church. Jesus, as Lord head of the Church, knowing that there would be different levels of willingness and ability to receive Christ and the gospel message, ordained from God's throne these seven different messages. It is this which has created in modern terms, "denominations," both protestant and catholic.
Therefore, after each of the seven letters of Revelation, Chapters two and three, the Lord concludes His analysis and exhortation with, " He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
As we learn to say, "Yes," to the things of God found in scripture, our "ear to hear" changes. We find even greater ability to hear and understand the things of God in His Word. Many times this constitutes leaving the comfort of one church (assembly) and moving to another who has a clear, more defined message, one that offers scriptural revelation with even greater ability of knowledge to serve God.
In this teaching, Pastor Don reveals the similarity of the doctrines spoken of to the Philadelphia church with that of the Word of Faith Church movement. This teaching helps us understand why the Word of faith churches and ministries have a message, clearly preached from scripture, yet many in other church movements are unable to receive it as revelation from God. A comparison is made between the church as Smyrna and the church at Philadelphia.
The Lord Jesus says to the church at Smyrna:
Rev 2:8-10 KJV "And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
But the same Lord Jesus, Head of the Church (all seven) writes to the church at Philadelphia and mentions the same event, writing about "those of the synagogue of Satan," but with a different ending to their event:
Rev 3:7-10 KJV " 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; 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. 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. 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."
To the church at Smyrna, He tells them those of the "synagogue of Satan" will cause them to have to enter into and go through a great trial of affliction, suffer prison, and some killed, but they should "be faithful until death." Then He says they will receive "the crown of life."
To the church at Philadelphia, He tells them that he has placed before them a great "open door" which no man an shut, and He will cause those of the "synagogue of Satan" to fall before their feet and give homage and respect, and to know how greatly He loves the Philadelphia believers. With this "open door" they will be given the ability to escape the great "trial" which came upon the world to try them (the trial which caused the great afflictions in the Smyrna church.
Pastor Don states, "the vision given to the Smyrna church was death... you will suffer, but be faithful unto death! But the vision of the Philadelphia church was one of great and enduring victory." He goes on to say, "Can you imagine being in a church where the message was 'death' as your goal.