Revelation Chapter 3
VERSE 9 “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.”
“This verse is not actually claiming that these are literal Jews, no more than those who claimed to be Jews during the second stage of the church were literal Jews (Rev 2:9).”
“Who then are these who “say they are Jews, and are not”?
Are they not those who professed Christianity but whose profession was false—in fact, so false that Jesus condemns them as a veritable “synagogue of Satan”?
The whole description, says Seiss, shows that they were the chief body of professed Christians in the Philadelphia period.
Although they had things largely in their control, they were self-deceivers, hypocrites, and liars, and were so far departed from all genuine Christianity and so destitute of faith and charity as to be in reality the children of the Evil One; they were an apostate crew (“Tares”), not at all entitled to a place in the congregation of believers. If the question lay simply between being pseudo-Jews and Jews of the true natural blood of Abraham, Jesus could no more acknowledge them in the one case than in the other because both were apart from the Christian faith and profession. Therefore, only one conclusion remains: Those who falsely claimed to be “Jews” were professing Christians.”
“They claimed they were consecrated in their hearts and were true followers of Jesus, but our Lord does not recognize them as such.”
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” (Rom 2:28, 29 NAU)
The fig tree is usually used to represent the Jewish nation, and it’s interesting to find in the sixth seal, which is the same time period as the sixth church, that the false unripe figs are cast to the earth. In symbol these figs are found to be false Jews, and they fall to the earth or are seen (proven) to be an earthly class when the wind of trouble blows upon them.
The Synagogue of Satan
The term “Synagogue of Satan” is likewise found earlier Rev 2:9. Satan is alluded to again in Rev 2:13, which is the third church, and in Rev 2:24, the fourth church. The false church is not really of the Lord, but is in actuality the tares that were sowed by the enemy Satan, as described in the Parable of the wheat and the tares.
The True Church was and is concerned about the salvation of those who are caught in the false church system, but the false church only wants to rid themselves of the irritation of the true church, who have tried to reform them when they can. The false church did this by persecution and by the outright killing of those who disagreed with them. In the end, instead of the True Church being cast out in rejection, as the false church system claimed would happen, we will find that the false church system will have to come to them and worship at their feet, in order to get salvation. (See Isa 60:14; 66:5).”
“In a sense this took place during the sixth church stage when Rome (Papacy) had to acknowledge (bow to) the Protestant power and know, from observation, that the Lord was prospering this step forward in the history of the Church.”
VERSE 10 “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
“Rom 15:4, 5 reflects the idea of “the word of my patience.”
Throughout the Reformation, the saints were constantly facing the changes and challenges to their faith by the rapidly unfolding understanding of Scripture. The proliferation of leaders and denominations were a constant source of upheaval in their Christian walks. Somehow, these saints seemed to keep a spiritual equilibrium in the midst of it all. Jesus here promises that the “hour of temptation” will, therefore, not be added to their burdens.
The hour of temptation will not only involve the religious and philosophical controversies which the Philadelphians had to face, but also the upheaval of social, financial, and political stability. Its purpose is to be to “try THOSE THAT DWELL ON THE EARTH” —those who have roots in this world’s order of things. The Hour of Temptation IS NOT for the purpose of trying the saints! The harvest saints MUST endure it; and they will overcome it if they have no roots in the earth. But it is NOT FOR THEM; it is for the world —it is to soften the world by taking away its confidence in its own institutions and, thereby, to prepare it for the kingdom.”
Another thought is this:
“The term “whole world” that this trial was to come upon, would not necessarily be the world literally, but it would be the world that belonged to that system. Another scripture that shows this same thing is found in Rev 13:3, where it says that “the whole world” followed after the beast, and we know that could not be the whole (literal) world at that time, because the whole world did not belong to the Roman Empire. North and South America were not even discovered at the time of the Roman beast. For that reason, the term “world”, in Revelation 13, would seem to represent only the known church-state religious world of that time, Christendom, the ten toes of the image. That world is whom the hour of trial of the Reformation would have come upon.”
We will continue with our look at Verse 10 in our next post.
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