As considered in my introduction to this series, I would like to look at each of the letters to the churches of Revelation from a different viewpoint than I have had much of my life.
Much could be written on each of the churches, but my intent is to give an overview of Old Testament motifs and pictures that John may have drew on from the Old Testament when he was penning the letters through the Holy Spirit
Our sixth letter is to the Church of Philadelphia
John reaches back into the return from exile under Ezra and Nehemiah for this church. Lets read the passage to get our thoughts aligned.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.
I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Consider the following
- An imagery of a synagogue / temple is given in this passage
- The Jews of this period had a “little power”, as the church is described.
- The open door speaks of the opportunity granted the exilic Jews to follow, along with this churches opportunity.
- The synagogue of Satan may speak of parallels with the false Jews referred to during the time of Nehemiah’s rebuilding program. (Nehemiah 4, 6 and 13)
- A coming time of testing, to test those who dwell on the land, may speak of Daniel 8 and 11, and of the tribulation of Antiochus Epiphanes
- The overcomer will be made a pillar in the temple
- The overcomer will share the blessings of the New Jerusalem
Give me your thoughts. Do you see parallels I have missed? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.