Philadelphia - “He that is Holy”
Cecil Ingleby, Erdington
If considering the presentation of the Lord in the letter to the Philadelphian Church we are brought to consider a contrast which is certainly significant. Previously it has been His actions which have in study characterised our views of Him, but in this letter we have a moral picture - what He is - rather than what He has been or is doing.
'He that is holy' (Rev. 3. 7). Does this not take our thoughts back to the scene in John chapter 6 verse 66, when the shadow of the Cross was falling across the pathway. The multitudes were murmuring at Him, many of the disciples had gone back and the Master, rather pathetically, I think, turns to the twelve - 'Will ye also go away'? - and Peter, in perhaps his greatest hour, says, 'Lord, to whom should we go, Thou art the Christ, the Holy One of God' (ELLICOTT). This from a man who lived day after day with the Lard, a quick discerning man with no axe to grind, and he can bow his head and with words of real worship say. 'the Holy One'.
Secondly, He is presented to us as 'he that is true', or rather, that Is the truth, Pilate might ask, 'What is truth'? (John 18. 38) little understanding that the Man Who stood before him was the truth - deserted by His own and without human defenders it may be but come forth from the eternal glory that in a few brief hours later He might destroy the works of him who was a liar from the beginning.
It is this unique Son of the Father - the Holy One - the Truth who now speaks to His own. His heavenly glory and splendour was too bright for our poor vision so in measure it was veiled, but His moral glory could not be hidden and we must be worshippers - not only for what He has done but for what He is.
How fitting that this One so eminently worthy should have the keys of David in contrast, of course, to the treasurer of the earthly house of that king who used the keys for his own ends and purposes (Isa. ch. 22), and was removed and cut off. Blessed be God! He who holds the keys is the Holy, the True One, and when He opens all the riches of the treasury house who can shut the door?