In verse 8, Christ told the Christians in Philadelphia that he would give them a wonderful opportunity to declare his message. Here, he explains how wonderful that opportunity would be. Even some people from the ‘synagogue of Satan’ would change their attitudes.
The group that Christ calls the ‘synagogue of Satan’ was active both in Philadelphia and Smyrna (2:9). Smyrna was about 70 miles (110 kilometres) from Philadelphia. The name ‘Satan’ means the accuser; members of this group were accusing and opposing the Christians.
The word ‘synagogue’ means a place where people gather for a meeting. It is the name of the place where Jews meet to pray to God. The Jews are God’s people from the families of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The members of this group of people in Philadelphia and Smyrna were not Jews; and they were not praying to God. They were probably former church members who had changed their beliefs. They still considered themselves God’s people, but really they were serving the devil.
It would not be easy for such people to return to God. They had made a definite decision to leave the church. They probably felt bitter and angry against the Christians. However, God’s work in Philadelphia would be so powerful that it would even affect some of them.
Christ describes how members of that group would make themselves humble. They would know how much God loved the Christians. They would therefore declare that the Christians truly were God’s people. Their lies against the Christians would end; God would bring about a complete change in the attitudes of these people.
Next part: Endurance during troubles (Revelation 3:10)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.