Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 3

A column in the temple of God

Revelation 3:12-13

The Christians in Philadelphia would not have seen the temple (great house) of the real God, in Jerusalem. However, they would often see the temples of false gods.

These temples had many impressive stone columns. Rich people would pay for those columns, because they wanted to put their own names permanently in the houses of their gods. They wanted their gods always to remember them and, therefore, to show kindness to them.

Those false gods, of course, had no power to help the people who prayed to them (Isaiah 44:9-20). However, the real God does remember his people, and he acts constantly with kindness towards them. He gives them a permanent place in his home (John 14:2).

As Revelation 21:22 explains, the temple here is actually a word-picture. There will be no temple in the New Jerusalem, where God will always live with his people (21:3). The meaning is that God will actually be present with his people.

When people build a great column, they often put their own names on it. Here there are a series of names. There is Godís name, because Godís people belong to him. There is the name of Godís city, the New Jerusalem, because Godís people will always live there. Then there is Christís new name; that may refer to his new name in Revelation 19:16 - King of kings and Lord (ruler) of lords.

Revelation 3:12 may remind us of Isaiah 56:4-5. There, God promised to remember some men who were unable to have children. The law did not allow those men to go near to Godís temple, but still they served God loyally. God said that he would always remember those men inside his temple. They would have a permanent place there. So, he would always show his kindness to them.

Next part: Christís letter to Laodicea (Revelation 3:14)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.