“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Rev. 3:11
This warning is given by the Lord Jesus Christ to Philadelphia saints in which He finds no fault, overcomers of the hightest caliber. So far they are running successfully, qualifying to win a crown. He admonishes, His appearance is near, Hold fast which thou hast.
The overcomers of Philadelphia along with the overcomers of Smyrna will make up the Bride of Christ. For they are unswearing in their love for Christ and steadfastly watching for His coming. We by faith identify with this group. So may we take this warning to heart.
To Smyrna He says, “Be faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” They speak of overcoming saints that go by way of the grave. They die, but will come up first in the resurrection. “Resurrected out from among the believing dead” – Phil. 3:11. Faithfulness is what wins the crown, holding fast to the end, faithful unto death – Rev. 2:10. Fellowshipping His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death – Phil 3:10. We are assured “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him – II Tim. 2:12.
Philadelphia saints speak of those which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord – I Thess. 4:15. The Lord encourages them on, “I have set before thee an open door,” the door to heaven, translation’s door” – Rev. 3:8. A wonderful reward is theirs if they “Hold fast.” “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” – Rev. 3:10. They will not experience any of the days of the tribulation period. For they will go up before it starts.
V. 12, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God.” In Old Testament times, they would set a pillar as an important memorial. In the New Testament, certain faithful saints were considered pillars of the faith. The Greek word for pillar used here, simply means, ‘support, akin to the base.’ I like that. A pillar usually stands alone, a solid massive support in a conspicuous place. These appear as a pillar in the temple of God. The whole body of believers are growing into a holy temple in the Lord (Eph. 2:19-21), So their place is prominent among them. We read, “and he shall go no more out.” Those who win that place will have it forever.
“And I will write upon him the name of My God,” they belong to Him, His possession. “And the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem (the Lamb’s wife) which cometh down out of heaven from My God.” Rev. 21:2 tells us, the new Jerusalem, the holy city, that John saw in vision, coming down from God out of heaven, was “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Her adornment will be living stones – I Pet. 2:5.)
“And I will write upon him my new name.” Christ gives His wife His new name.” He will have a new name, for He has never been a Bridegroom before. The Lamb’s wife (Rev. 19:7) will bear the imprint, the likeness of her husband. Some saints shall share these highest honors with the blessed Son of God. “He shall “be admired in all them that believe, in that day” – II Thess. 1:10.
A crown is certain to these wonderful overcomers, if they continue in the same way they have been going. For the Ephesus saints who started so good, being known for their good works, did not continue to hold fast. They left their first or chief love for Christ as their Bridegroom (Rev. 2:1-4). They will miss God’s best except they repent.
Apostle Paul espoused (engaged) us to be married to Christ that He may be able to present us as a chaste virgin to Christ. But he feared lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, that our minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (II Cor. 11:1-3). There is a danger of loosing that place and crown. Satan would “deceive the very elect” if possible – Mt. 24:24. Some believe because they possess the knowledge that Christ will have a bride, that they are winners. Knowledge is not enough to qualify us. If things of this life has first place with us, Satan has tricked us. Christ must have first place with His bride.
We live in such a time that we may have hope of translation, entering that open door of heaven. Apostle Paul was greatly concerned for the saints (I Thess. 3:5). He gives the warning that saints could be lulled to sleep spiritually, causing a state of indifference ( I Thess. 5:5-6). It would be sad indeed, since we have had the privilege of the revelation of God’s Word and then be deceived by Satan. We don’t want any part of the sorrows coming upon this world. We want to be in the throne room of heaven beholding the enthronement of Christ – Rev. 4:2-6.
There is nothing worth more than winning Christ – Phil. 3:8. Paul says, “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of…” – II Tim. 3:13-14. Don’t let Satan sidetrack us. He can’t take away our salvation, but he can rob us of God’s best. We want Christ as Bridegroom. “Yet a little while” and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry’ – Heb. 10:35-37. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) – Heb 10:23. Christ’s last word to us, “Surely I come quickly” – Rev. 22:20.
E. J. Davis