REVELATION 3Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 3:1-22SARDIS 3:1, 2 THE DEAD CHURCHPROTESTANT FORMALISM AND INTOLERANCECALVINISM, ENGLISH “REFORMATION”PAPAL RESPONSE3:3-6 HOLD FAST AND REPENTPHILADELPHIA 3:7 REVIVALMISSIONARY AND ADVENT MOVEMENTS3:8, THE KEY OF DAVID, THE OPEN DOORTHE DAY OF ATONEMENT, 2300 DAYS3:9-13 I AM COMING QUICKLYLAODICEA 3:14 THE TRUE WITNESS3:15-17 LUKEWARM3:18 BUY FROM ME GOLDWHITE GARMENTSEYE SALVE3:19-21 I STAND AT THE DOOR3:22 HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS


PHILADELPHIA 3:7 REVIVAL

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He that has the key of David, He that opens and no one shuts and shuts and no one opens: I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Revelation 3:7).

In contrast to all the other churches, the Philadelphia church is not condemned for anything.[1] This period, from the mid eighteenth through the mid nineteenth centuries, was one in which the Christian church woke up from their “dead” Sardis condition and with their “Little strength” they “Kept [His] word,” triggering the greatest revivals since Pentecost.[2]

One of the first to come to life was the Moravian Church, arguable the first protestant denomination. The Moravians arose in the fifteenth century through the influence of John Huss but had been scattered and disheartened by fierce persecution. In 1727 a small group of Moravian Christians received a "visitation by the Holy Spirit" and "learned to love one another."[3] The revived Moravians Church grew rapidly, being zealous about sharing the gospel and willing to go anywhere in the service of Christ. One of their projects was in the American colony of Georgia among the Indians, and a providential encounter of Moravian missionaries with John and Charles Wesley on a ship to Georgia helped to prepare the way for a remarkable reformation in England.

The Wesleys were the sons of an Anglican clergyman and at an early age showed an interest in spiritual development. John became a priest, while Charles formed a club at Oxford University which was dedicated to the pursuit of holiness; it was derisively called the “Holy Club” and later the “Methodists” because of their painfully methodical efforts to be pious. Athough they had a deep sense of spiritual inadequacy, the Wesley brothers were zealous and energetic, and in 1735 accepted a call to go to America to be missionaries in Georgia. While on the journey the ship encountered a fierce storm, which terrified all of the passengers (including the Wesleys) except for a group of Moravian Christians. The humiliating contrast of the Moravian’s faith with his own fears made a deep impression on John Wesley[4]

After a fairly fruitless ministry in America the Wesleys returned to England where they again came in contact with Moravian Christians. One evening in 1738 at a small meeting John Wesley was hearing the reading of Martin Luther’s description of the change that God works in the heart through faith in Christ. “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; that He had taken away my sins, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” Charles had already had a personal experience with Jesus three days earlier during a serious illness, and they now worked tirelessly to bring the gospel to the common people.

The Wesleys took their message directly to the poor and organized the new converts into small groups for spiritual growth. Rather than relying on professional clergy the members themselves were trained to be responsible for leadership and even for preaching. Their movement swept through England and transformed British society.[5]

One of the most powerful preachers among Wesley’s associates, George Whitefield, took the movement to America. In 1740, under the influence of his stirring sermons, the “Great Awakening” took place, a powerful revival which swept through New England and the middle colonies. In 1780 the Sunday school movement began, teaching the fundamentals of Christianity to all levels of society, and in 1804 the Bible Society was founded, resulting in a massive distribution of the scriptures.

Continue to next section: MISSIONARY AND ADVENT MOVEMENTS



[1] The Smyrna church is not explicitly condemned for “the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan”, but this book takes the position that this was a developing trend within the Church rather than a threat from outside.

[2] This period corresponds to the end of the 1260 years of persecution, when the “beast from the sea” which “made war with the saints and overcame them” received a “deadly wound” (see 13:3 The Deadly Wound). This gave the remnant Christian Church some breathing room in which she could come back to life.

[3] Wikipedia contributors, "Moravian Church," Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title+Moravian Church&oldid+614604778 (accessed June 27 2014)

[4] Walker, History of the Christian Church p.511

[5] “Wesley made sure that those who were serious about leading a new life were channeled into small groups for growth in discipleship. The “class meetings” turned out to be the primary means of bringing millions of England’s most desperate people into the liberating discipline of Christian faith.

“Other reformers looked upon these decadent neighborhoods and threw up their hands in despair. It seemed hopeless that the plight of the poor could be remedied. Wesley looked at the same miserable conditions and saw a situation which was ripe for evangelism. Instead of abhorring their miseries and vices from a comfortable and safe distance, he eagerly sought the foulest circumstances in which to work…the nation was shaken to its foundations by a spiritual awakening. Historians…generally agreed that the transformation of English society was largely due to the impact of Wesley and the movement he spawned.” D. Michael Henderson, John Wesley’s Class Meeting, (Nappanee, IN, Evangel 1997) pg. 28.