Revelation 3:10, 11
Verse 10 (continued): He tells them He is going to protect them because they endured in faith just as He had commanded them (Mt 10:32, 33; Mk 8:34-38; Lk 9:29). When faced with opposition, they had refused to deny Him so He would spare them from the wave of organized attacks that would soon sweep the area. Verse 11: The church in Pergamum was warned that Jesus would visit them soon to discipline their unruly members (Rev 2:16). The church in Thyatira was warned that time was running out and He would soon send pestilence on those living in adultery (Rev 2:23). The church in Sardis was warned that unless most of them repented quickly, He would come like a thief (Rev 3:3). And now, the church in Philadelphia is also warned that He is coming quickly; only in their case, no judgment is threatened. His soon arrival in their city would be to protect them, not punish them. He would deliver them from the crisis about to fall on the churches of the region.
Revelation 3:11, 12
Verse 11 (continued): He encourages them to hold fast what you have so that no one will take your crown. Each believer must determine to continue to endure in faith all the way to the end, whether that be the Lords physical return to earth or their own death. His words here are similar in meaning to those He spoke to Smyrna, Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev 2:10). Verse 12: Those who remain loyal to Jesus in the face of trials will inherit not only the promises meant for believing Gentiles, but the promises meant for believing Israel as well. Though the church in Philadelphia was composed of Gentiles and disfellowshipped Jews, God did not consider them unclean. Instead, like one of its pillars, they would find a permanent place in His heavenly temple (Isa 56:2-8; Jn 10:16); He would write His name on them claiming them as His own possession (Isa 44:5); they would be given a new name of blessing rather than sorrow (Isa 62:2-5, 12); and He would write on them the name of the eternal city where Gods people will dwell forever indicating that they are certain to be citizens of that city (Rev 21:1-22:5).
Verse 12 (continued): Three times in this verse (also Rev 3:2), Jesus refers to God the Father as My God. He did the same thing on the morning of His resurrection saying to Mary Magdalene,
I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God (Jn 20:17). By addressing the Father in this way, Jesus raises an important question about the relationship between the Father and the Son. As the Son of God, Jesus fully shares the Fathers divinity, but as the son of David, He also fully shares our humanity. Because God is Jesus Father and believers have been spiritually joined to Jesus, God has now become our Father at a far higher level than merely as our Creator. And because Jesus really became a human when He was incarnated, our God has become His God. By means of the incarnation the eternal Son who existed in the form of God (Php 2:6) became our human representative and by means of the cross became our high priest (He 2:17; 5:8-10). This is why Jesus, who is divine, can also call His Father, My God. He is not denying His own divinity but is addressing the Father from the human perspective as our representative (Ro 15:6; Eph 1:17). Having become a human He is now, and will forever remain, a resurrected human. His use of the term My God would also have assured Jewish believers in Philadelphia that their faith in Jesus in no way meant they had abandoned the God of Israel.
Verse 12 (continued): Jesus also says He will write His own new name on overcomers. Undoubtedly this means we will discover new and deeper revelations about Him, just as the new name given to us speaks of blessings He has yet to reveal to us (Isa 62:2-4). In Revelation 19:12 we are told that when He comes He will have a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. The implication is that there are glorious things about Him of which we as yet have no comprehension and blessings that He will bring for which we presently have no words. As Paul said, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him (1Co 2:9).
Revelation 3:12, 13
Verse 12 (continued): We should also recognize that by writing both the Fathers name and His own name on believers Jesus is declaring equality with the Father. Who but the divine Son would dare place His name beside the Fathers. We will see this equality of Father and Son expressed even more vividly when John describes the New Jerusalem. Both Father and Son will be its temple (Rev 21:22) and light it with their glory (Rev 21:23). Verse 13: Believers willing to accept the truth of what the Spirit has shown the church in Philadelphia will be strengthened by these promises. They will endure persecution knowing that even if they must die for their faith, Jesus waits on the other side to welcome them into eternal fellowship with God.
Verse 14: The Lords final charge is to the church in Laodicea. The city was a wealthy business center located in a broad fertile river valley 45 miles south of Philadelphia on the same north-south interior road. And like Philadelphia it was positioned at the junction with a main east-west highway. The highway was a busy trade route which extended from Ephesus on the coast through central Asia Minor and continued on to Syria (Vander Laan, That the World May Know, Early Church Discovery Guide, Zondervan, 2008, pp. 154-157). Nearby, and sharing the same valley, were two neighboring cities: Hierapolis, across the valley and six miles to the north, and Colossae, eleven miles farther south at the foot of snow-capped Mt. Cadmus (Vander Laan, loc. cit.). Laodicea was known for banking, garments made from a distinctive black wool, and medicinal powders (M.J.S. Rudwick, New Bible Dictionary, p. 716). A notable disadvantage for the city was the quality of its drinking water which had a strong mineral taste because it had to be brought in from distant hot springs through stone pipes (Rudwick, pp. 716, 717).
Verse 14 (continued): The first title Jesus uses to introduce Himself to this church is very unusual. He calls Himself the Amen. There is a reference in the Book of Isaiah (Isa 65:16) which, in the Hebrew text, calls God the God of Amen, but that term is not used anywhere else. However, it was commonly used as an affirmation spoken in response to something God or someone else said. It was often pronounced at the close of a prayer or hymn (1Ki 1:36; 1Ch 16:36; Neh 8:6; Psa 41:13) indicating that the listener considered what had just been spoken to be true and trustworthy. With this in mind we realize that Jesus main purpose in using this word was not to identify Himself as divine, though the title certainly does that. He is telling us that He is Gods final word to this earth. There will not be another savior. In Him all that God has promised has been fulfilled or will be at His return. Just as a vow is confirmed by saying amen (Nu 5:22; Dt 27:15-26; Neh 5:13; Jer 11:5) God has confirmed His promises by sending His Son. As Paul said, For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us (2Co 1:20).