Bible Study – Philadelphia

March 13 – 19, 2022

Philadelphia – Brotherly Love (A.D. 1833–1844)

Key Text

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” 1 John 3:14

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 317–330; Maranatha, 247


“Christians are to cultivate self-restraint, love, forbearance, and unity one to another by the cords of brotherly love.” The Review and Herald, November 27, 1894



1.a. What was foretold in prophecy concerning the keys of David? Isaiah 22:20–22

 Note: “But clearer light came with the investigation of the sanctuary question. They [the early Adventist believers] now saw that they were correct in believing that the end of the 2300 days in 1844 marked an important crisis.” The Great Controversy, 429

1.b. In 1844, what door was shut and what door was opened? Revelation 3:7, 8

 Note: “Then I was shown that the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ relating to the shut door could not be separated, and that the time for the commandments of God to shine out with all their importance, and for God’s people to be tried on the Sabbath truth, was when the door was opened in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary, where the ark is, in which are contained the ten commandments. This door was not opened until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the holy place of the sanctuary in 1844.” Early Writings, 42



2.a. How is the synagogue of Satan described, and what do they say? Revelation 3:9, first part

 Note: “Satan has a large confederacy, his church. Christ calls them the synagogue of Satan because the members are the children of sin. The members of Satan’s church have been constantly working to cast off the divine law, and confuse the distinction between good and evil. Satan is working with great power in and through the children of disobedience to exalt treason and apostasy as truth and loyalty.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 16

“Satan has a church upon the earth which outnumbers the church of Christ. Christ calls it the ‘synagogue of Satan,’ because its members are the children of sin and transgression. They have ceased to honor God, they have cast His divine law aside, they have confounded the distinction between good and evil. But the world’s Redeemer will have a church in which these essential differences will be made apparent, where the character of God will be represented.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1897

2.b. Who are the members of the synagogue of Satan and what will they do? Revelation 3:9, last part

 Note: “The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet.” Early Writings, 15

“You think, that those who worship before the saint’s feet, (Revelation 3:9), will at last be saved. Here I must differ with you; for God shew me that this class were professed Adventists, who had fallen away, and ‘crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.’ And in the ‘hour of temptation,’ which is yet to come, to show out everyone’s true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saint’s feet.” A Word to the Little Flock, 12



3.a. What encouraging promise is given to them that trust wholly in God? 1 Corinthians 10:13

 Note: “God sometimes allows Satan to tempt His children, that they may be proved and tested. If they rely on their own strength, they will fail in the trial, but if they realize their inability to help themselves, and trust wholly in God, He will provide a way of escape. There are times when it is necessary for men to be exposed to danger, and to be placed among corrupting influences, but a sense of their dependence on God will lead them to keep their hearts uplifted to Him in prayer every hour, for strength to resist and grace to overcome. The experience gained in these fierce conflicts fortifies the soul to pass unscathed through more trying ordeals.” The Signs of the Times, March 29, 1905

“At times the masterly power of temptation seems to tax our will power to the uttermost, and to exercise faith seems utterly contrary to all the evidences of sense or emotion; but our will must be kept on God’s side. We must believe that in Jesus Christ is everlasting strength and efficiency.” Our High Calling, 124

3.b. In order to be delivered from Satan’s temptations, what should we do? Revelation 3:10; James 4:7

3.c. Especially when will this experience be a reality? Psalm 91:14, 15

 Note: “Do not think that you can safely drift with the current. If you do, you will surely become the helpless prey of Satan’s devices. By diligent searching of the Scriptures and earnest prayer for divine help prepare the soul to resist temptation. The Lord will hear the sincere prayer of the contrite soul and will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. But you will be tried; your faith, your love, your patience, your constancy will be tested.” In Heavenly Places, 184

“The hour of temptation is to come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth; and although we do not wish to make a time of trouble for ourselves, nor do we wish to groan over trials in the future, still we should be so closely connected with God that we shall not fall under the temptation when it does come.” The Review and Herald, April 15, 1890.



4.a. What promise of Jesus should encourage us all along our Christian race? Revelation 3:11 first part; 22:12

Note: “ ‘This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ Precious, indeed, was this promise to those sorrowing disciples, that they should again see Jesus who was greatly beloved by them all. Precious also is this promise to every true follower of Christ. None who truly love Jesus will be sorry that He is coming again. And as they approach nearer to the coming of the Son of man, the true lovers of Jesus will look forward with joyous hope, and will seek to get all ready to behold Him whom their souls loveth, who died to redeem them.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 1, 1854

“We are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. Our sojourn here is as it were the Christian’s winter. But our faith and hope reach forward and upward to the better life, to the home that Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him. …

“There are many things to be overcome. Day by day the battle goes on. The struggle is lifelong; for Satan watches every opportunity to take advantage of us, that he may ensnare us to our ruin.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 138

4.b. To whom will the crown of life be given, and when? Revelation 3:11, last part; Matthew 24:13; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8

Note: “ ‘Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.’ Here again we are admonished to faithfulness, in view of the conflict. We must not yield any point that we have already gained. … We are seeking for a crown, a crown of glory that fadeth not away. As overcomers we are to reign with Christ in the heavenly courts; and we are to overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” The Review and Herald, July 9, 1908

“If it were possible for us to be admitted into heaven as we are, how many of us would be able to look upon God? How many of us have on the wedding garment? How many of us are without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? How many of us are worthy to receive the crown of life?” Maranatha, 98



5.a. What promise is given to the overcomers of Philadelphia, and who are they? Revelation 3:12, 13

Note: “While I was praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell upon me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me, ‘Look again, and look a little higher.’ At this I raised my eyes, and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the city, which was at the farther end of the path. … Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake.” Early Writings, 14, 15

5.b. Following the example of the Philadelphian church, what should we cultivate if we want to be overcomers? John 13:34, 35

 Note: “God wants us to love one another. He says, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,’ ‘as I have loved you; that ye also love one another.’ This is the new commandment. It was new because Christ had not, before it was spoken, given the evidence of how much He loves us.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 3, 1901

“They [the disciples] were to love one another as Christ had loved them. These were their credentials that Christ was formed within, the hope of glory.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1141



1    What event would close the Philadelphian period?

2    Who constitutes the synagogue of Satan?

3    How are we to deal with temptation?

4    Who will receive the crown of life?

5    What is the promise given to Philadelphia?

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