IN ALL THE OTHER LETTERS JESUS uses symbols from Chapter 1 to describe Himself. In this letter Jesus makes no reference to that vision. He uses other titles to describe Himself. He tells the church at Philadelphia plainly who He is and what He does. First, He is “the holy one” and “the true one.” His character is without flaw or blemish. And He is the true one, the one behind all that exists. Second, Jesus refers back to a passage in Isaiah 22:17-22 to explain what He does: “I am the one who shuts and no one can open, and opens and no one can shut.” Jesus governs the events of history. He will open some doors; He will close others. No human power can violate what He determines. The church of Philadelphia is one of two churches that come out of dead Sardis (The other is Laodicea). Philadelphia is the church that has been faithful to the teaching of God’s Word, and does not deny His name. This church is small in stature and power, but God has given them love and faith.