Philadelphia, Part 3 (final)
Dec 29, 2015
Revelation 3:12, 13 gives the conclusion to the message to the Philadelphia church, saying,
12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
The overcomers will become pillars in the temple of God. What does this mean?
The Temple Pillars
There were two pillars in Solomon’s temple, named Jachin and Boaz. 1 Kings 7:21 says,
21 Thus he set up the pillars at the porch of the nave; and he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz.
These two pillars stood at the entrance of the temple, so that the priests had to pass between them to enter the Holy Place. The promise given to the overcomers is that they will enter the Holy Place and “not go out from it anymore.” It means they will arrive at their destination in the presence of God once and for all and will no longer lose His presence.
Revivals have come and gone over the centuries. It seems that the Holy Spirit has been poured out countless times in various times and places, but each time, the season ends, and things go back to “normal.” Likewise, even today the perception among many believers is that they must go to church to enter God’s presence. The church is said to be God’s house, and it is “holy ground.” There they sing, praise, and worship God for a short time once or twice a week in order to “enter God’s presence.” Then they leave that place, return to “normal,” and come back the next week to “enter God’s presence” again.
I have always wondered why they need to go to church to enter God’s presence. Should we not experience God’s continual presence without interruption? Are we not the temple of God? We ought to never leave God’s presence, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. In fact, if we go to a church, we ought to bring the presence of God with us for the benefit of those who experience it only temporarily once or twice a week.
The overcomers go into the temple of God and do not come out again. They are conscious of His presence all the time, even when their focus is on other things. Jesus forms the context of their lives. All of their activity is within the framework of the will of God, their calling, and the ultimate establishment of the Kingdom.
The overcomers, as pillars of the temple, mark the place where others may enter. They are exhibited as the standard of measure, witnesses of Christ Himself, showing others how to enter into the place where they too may experience the continual presence of God. As such, they point the way into the temple. The two pillars in Solomon’s temple were two witnesses of the presence of Jesus Christ.
Jachin and Boaz
These two pillars prophesy of the two comings of Christ. One pillar was named Boaz. It was named after the ancestor of David, whose story is told in the book of Ruth. Boaz was the prime example of a kinsman redeemer who was called to bring forth the heir to the lost property in Bethlehem. It was the real-life illustration of the Law of Sonship found in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.
This law prophesied of New Covenant things. Jesus came to earth as the kinsman redeemer, but he died “childless.” Therefore, according to the law, we who are His “brethren” (Hebrews 2:11), are called to raise up children on behalf of our elder Brother. We are called to “establish a name” for our Brother (Deuteronomy 25:7) and to “build up [Jesus’] house” (Deuteronomy 25:9).
The New Testament writings show that we are to be begotten by the seed of the word (gospel) in order to bring “Christ in you” to full birth and manifestation. This is how to fulfill that law today, and those who do so are like Boaz, which in turn is a pillar in the temple of My God.
The other pillar was named Jachin, “He will establish.” All things are established by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15; 2 Corinthians 13:1). It takes two pillars to “establish” the presence of Christ in the earth. Hence, Christ came the first time as Boaz, the kinsman redeemer. The second coming, however, “establishes” His presence in the legal sense. It is not that He is absent in the full sense of the word. In fact, He has always been present in the earth from a spiritual standpoint. Yet He ascended to heaven in order to go “to a distant country… and then return” (Luke 19:12).
His second coming, then, “establishes” His presence in a more tangible way, and His two comings are prophesied by the law of the double witness. In fact, He has come three times, if we include His coming at Mount Sinai, where “He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones” (Deuteronomy 33:2). This is affirmed in Jude 14. Hence, the law was fulfilled with both two and three witnesses.
The pillars in the temple bear witness to Christ’s comings. The overcomers themselves testify by their manner of life that they are temples of God and that the presence of God is in them. On this level, the body of overcomers form the double witness of Christ’s presence. They are not part-timers as so many believers are. They do not “go to church” to enter God’s presence. They are the church. They go to fellowship with others and to bring God’s presence to those who are lacking.
The New Names
Upon the overcomers is written “the name of My God and the name of the city of My God.” In Hebrew thinking, a name expressed one’s nature. In the days of Solomon, the names of the pillars were Jachin and Boaz. Under the New Covenant, the overcomers express the nature of Yeshua (“salvation”) and the New Jerusalem.
In Galatians 4:22-31 Paul explains the difference between the Old and New Jerusalem. The earthly Jerusalem—the physical city—is not the inheritor of the Kingdom, for it is “Hagar,” the bondwoman and “is in slavery with her children” (Galatians 4:25). Slaves are not inheritors, even if they are believers. The New Jerusalem, or prophetic “Sarah,” is said to be “our mother” (Galatians 4:26). Jews who remain in Judaism, along with Christian Zionists, are those who claim the old Jerusalem as their mother and the capital of the Kingdom. They honor their mother and pray that she will be the mother of the chosen people. But this prayer will not be answered, for Paul writes in Galatians 4:30,
30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”
Those who depend on the flesh, having the earthly Jerusalem as their mother, are spiritual Ishmaelites, but they are given an opportunity to claim a different mother and attain a different identity in the records of the divine court. Those who do this may receive a new name, that of the New Jerusalem, which, as we see in Revelation 3:12, is one of the marks of the overcomers.
During the Philadelphia church era (1776-1914), as the Rothschild banking system became the “guardians of the papal treasure,” one of the main Rothschild goals was to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. It was precisely for this reason that the 1917 Balfour Declaration was a letter from British Foreign Secretary, Lord Arthur Balfour, to the Jewish banker, Lionel Rothschild. They were working on behalf of the interests of their spiritual mother, the old Jerusalem.
To accomplish this goal, they found it necessary to work within the Christian community in order to change the Christian idea that the New Jerusalem was their mother, in order to gain Christian support for a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital. Hence, they funded C. I. Scofield to write a Study Bible that included notes supporting a Jewish state. The tactic worked very well, and today a great many Christians mistakenly believe that the Jewish state called “Israel” is actually the fulfillment of Bible prophecies given to Israel. Few Christians are even aware nowadays that Israel and Judah were two nations having two very different prophecies and destinies.
Out of this situation has developed a new movement known as Christian Zionism, designed to bring Christians back into Judaism. Hence, the first-century problem that the Apostle Paul faced resurfaced in the twentieth century, making his letter to the Galatians and to the Hebrews vital once again.
It is no coincidence, then, that Christ’s message to the Philadelphia church speaks of “those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie” (Revelation 3:9). Jesus was putting His finger upon one of the most important problems that would develop during the Philadelphia era. The problem started with the unholy alliance between the Roman church and the Rothschild banks. It then surfaced in the evangelical and Pentecostal movements and flourished during the Laodicean church era.
Today, those who believe that anyone can become Abraham’s seed by faith in Christ, according to Paul’s teaching (Galatians 3:9, 29) are looked upon with horror, as if the curse of God is upon them (Genesis 12:3). Yet even Jesus Himself was not impressed with men’s genealogy, for He said in Matthew 12:48-50,
48 … “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Overcomers, then, are known by the “name” (or nature) of the New Jerusalem, as distinct from the earthly city. Jews and Christian Zionists have a different name written on them. Perhaps they are pillars in another temple.
This is part 32 of a series titled "Studies in the Book of Revelation." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones