Philadelphia (1776-1914 A.D.)
The original city of Philadelphia was established in 189 B.C. by King Eumenes II of Pergamos as a tribute to his loyal brother. Philadelphos literally means “one who loves his brother.” Eumenes reigned from 197-160, and afterward his brother, Attalus II succeeded him and reigned from 159-138.
After his death, his nephew, Attalus III, who was the son of his beloved brother, Eumenes, took the throne from 138-133, but he had little interest in being a king. He preferred to study medicine, botany, and gardening. At his death in 133, and leaving no heirs to the throne, he willed the city to Rome in order to prevent a civil war from competing successors.
Philadelphia was one of a dozen cities largely destroyed by the great earthquake of 17 A.D. Roman Emperor Tiberius relieved the cities of any tax burdens for a time, and the grateful citizens of Philadelphia then paid special honors to Tiberius.
Perhaps this tax relief can be viewed as a subtle sign of things to come in the American Revolution, which was popularized as a revolt against taxes without representation.
The American Philadelphia
America is a political byproduct of the Protestant Reformation. John Calvin’s experiment in Switzerland, where he put into practice the principles of Christian government in the city of Geneva, taught people the basic principles of how to establish a Christian Nation. And so, in 1776 we come to an event that took place in Philadelphia in the New World that was the climax of Protestant thinking in the time of the Sardis Church—the signing of the Declaration of Independence onJuly 4, 1776.
This year was also important because it was 2,520 years after the beginning of Israel’s captivity and deportations by the Assyrians in 745 B.C. As we pointed out in Chapter 15 of Secrets of Time, this was when the descendants of the House of Israel, who had long forgotten their origins in Israel, began to be reformed into a new nation under the motto: e pluribus unum, “out of many, one.”
This was definitely a major turning point in prophetic history, though the 40-Jubilee wilderness sojourn of the church was still not completed. Yet the preachers of the day believed this was the “stone kingdom” of Dan. 2:35 arising. Their optimism and enthusiasm, led by such leaders as Timothy Dwight, 8th president of Yale College from 1795-1817, imparted to the American church a sense of destiny and a vision of establishing the Kingdom of God. He served as President of Yale while the United States capital was at Philadelphia before the city of Washington D.C. was built (1800).
However, as history now shows, this new nation, though important, was yet imperfect and under the rule of carnal administrators who lacked the understanding of the divine law necessary to fulfill the prophecies of the Kingdom. There was yet a Laodicean era of the church that lay ahead. Since Laodicea represents the church of the Babylonian captivity, its immediate predecessor (Philadelphia) was the church whose insufficiency led to this captivity.
Three Types of Love
There are three types of love, two of which are expressed in Scripture as phileo, or “brotherly love” and agape, or “divine love.” The third is eros, which is mere physical attraction, but this does not appear in Scripture at all. Phileo love is good, but it only describes a relationship that meets another person halfway.
Phileo is about fairness and justice, whereas agape goes beyond justice into unconditional love. When applying these terms to our relationship with God, phileo correlates with Pentecost, wherein we learn obedience to His law and His standard of living. Agape, on the other hand, encompasses the love of God, and when we manifest such love, we are in agreement with Him.
Spiritual maturity can also be measured according to one’s ability to love. Eros is the most immature form and is mostly expressed as a need that must be met by others. It is therefore primarily selfish, as that of a baby or toddler. Phileo is a 50/50 relationship, where siblings learn the principles of fairness and justice in their relationships. Agape is mature love that gives freely. It is love expressed by grace and is necessary in order to be a good parent. Without agape, a parent can never train children to know the love of God.
Philadelphia means “City of Brotherly Love,” or phileo love.
Philadelphia in America
The Church of Philadelphia (1776-1914) is well seen in the great American experiment. Its founders believed in liberty in law. It sought to bring the Church into a phileo relationship among its citizens and among all the nations. Prior to the Protestant Reformation the world saw few benevolent civil rulers or religious leaders. The only example most of them knew was of men with selfish interests who had not learned the basic principles of phileo. Such rulers, both religious and civil, knew only eros, the need to be served by others.
The establishment of America in the city of Philadelphia was an attempt by the people to establish a phileo-Christian government. This was not bad, but it was imperfect, as subsequent history has proven. Regardless of how good our Constitution was in its beginning, and regardless of how just our laws were, there is no way for any nation to maintain its righteousness apart from having godly administrators. We see this in the story of Israel, a nation with a perfect system of law given by the mouth of God Himself—but a nation that degenerated into utter apostasy because of ungodly leaders and immoral people demanding freedom to sin.
There were many in early America who had a vision of building the Kingdom of God in the earth. But apart from the manifestation of the sons of God, which would bring forth perfect administrators of the divine law, how can any nation do anything but degenerate as even the House of Israel degenerated during biblical times?
Even so, America’s founding was a very important date in the history of the Kingdom of God, simply because it gave Christians a new vision for the manifestation of the Kingdom of God upon the earth as it already is in heaven. The main problem was that this began in the days of the Church of Philadelphia, the sixth church era. The 40 Jubilees of “Saul” had not yet run its course. And for this reason, the vision came too early to become a physical reality.
The Philadelphia church is also the Hezekiah church. Christ’s message to this church draws upon the lessons of King Hezekiah. His strengths and weaknesses are seen clearly in the New Covenant church of Philadelphia. If the Philadelphia church would follow the Spirit of Strength, or Might, it could overcome the problems of its time. But, of course, only the overcomers would actually have the strength to come into agreement with God during this era. And so, as we will see, the Philadelphia church era ended in captivity, even as the Old Covenant Hezekiah church too ended in captivity to Babylon.
The Message to Philadelphia
Revelation 3:7 begins Christ’s message:
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
Christ here presents Himself as the one who is both “holy” (hagios) and “true” (alethinos). To be “holy” is to be set apart for God and worthy of being revered. To be “true” means that it has not only the name and resemblance, but also the real nature corresponding to the name. It corresponds in every respect to the idea signified by its name or what it is called. To be true contrasts with that which is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated, or pretended.
For Christ to present Himself as such sets the standard of measure for this church. To be an overcomer is to overcome the spirit of religious simulation and hypocritical pretention and to come fully into agreement and harmony with Christ’s character.
Even as the Sardis church marked a turning point in church history in 1517, so also the Philadelphia church raises the level of God’s expectations. Philadelphia was to be a transition from judicial love (phileo) into the full divine love (agape). Believers were to learn to treat each other justly as they matured into agape love. Unfortunately, only a few became overcomers, as history shows.
The Power Struggle
Rev. 3:7 also speaks of a new door that was to be opened to the church. This is the door that is seen in the story of Hezekiah, who replaced Shebna, his steward, with Eliakim, who was worthy of this position of authority. The story is told in Isaiah 22:15-25. Shebna is introduced to us in verse 15 as “Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household.”
In Isaiah 22:18, the prophet addresses him, “you shame of your master’s house.” We do not know why Shebna was a shame to the house of David. However, some time earlier, in 2 Kings 18:18, we find that Shebna was only a scribe, and Eliakim was the head steward over Hezekiah’s household. This certainly was prior to Shebna’s downfall, because it is highly unlikely, given Isaiah’s dire word, that Shebna would have been demoted to a scribe. He was cast out and exiled (Isaiah 22:18) when he finally fell into disgrace.
Hence, it appears that at some point in time Shebna usurped the position of Eliakim, perhaps by falsely accusing Eliakim of some indiscretion. But later, when the truth became known, Shebna was exiled, and Eliakim was then restored to his former position. It also appears that Isaiah understood the problem and backed Eliakim, for he prophesied to Shebna in Isaiah 22:20, 21 saying,
20 Then it will come about in that day, that I will summon My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 and I will clothe him with your [Shebna’s] tunic, and tie your sash securely about him. I will entrust him with your authority, and he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
Since this was a prophecy about a future event, we know that Isaiah received this word while Shebna was still the chief steward, or Chief of Staff, in the king’s house. In other words, the prophet knew the truth before King Hezekiah discovered it.
The Open Door and the Key of David
Isaiah prophesied that Hezekiah would take the key of David from Shebna and give it to Eliakim, who was worthy of this position of trust in the House of David. Isaiah 22:22 says,
22 Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens, no one will shut; when he shuts, no one will open.
This is the verse that is referenced in Christ’s message to the Philadelphia church in Rev. 3:8, which says,
8 I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have little power [dunamis, “strength, power, ability”], and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
In other words, Isaiah’s prophecy not only applied to the situation in the Hezekiah church but also in the era of the Philadelphia church. Hezekiah’s name means “strength of Yahweh.” His name is derived from the root word chazak, “to strengthen, prevail, be strong.” Even as the Hezekiah church showed strength, so also Christ says of the Philadelphia church, “you have a little power,” or strength.
Hezekiah’s strength was in the fact that he was a godly king who “did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done” (2 Kings 18:3). In fact, 2 Kings 18:5-7 says,
5 He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. 6 For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; wherever he went he prospered.
In other words, he was Judah’s best king since David himself. The Hezekiah church, then, saw a time of prosperity on account of its godly strength. Likewise, the American Experiment that began in Philadelphia in 1776, saw a time of national prosperity and strength. It was established openly as a Christian Republic, as subsequent Supreme Court rulings claimed, and the foundational principles of government were rooted in the laws of nature and nature’s God (the “Creator”).
It was as if the world had been given an open door through this nation. The oppressed peoples of Europe looked at America with awe and delight, while the rulers of the old Roman church order were frightened, lest their own nations would rise up and demand the same type of government. Those old powers quickly took the reins of the new American government and usurped power over it, in order to begin to turn the hearts of the people back into idolatry and immorality.
Perhaps the most serious subversion of the law of God was its refusal to apply the law equally and impartially to all men. Slavery was a divisive issue from the beginning, but only because, when the time came to vote on whether slavery should be included or excluded in the Constitution, one of the two delegates from New Jersey failed to appear for the crucial vote. At that time, both state delegates had to be present in order for either of their votes to count. Both of the New Jersey delegates were anti-slavery, but because one was not present, the other vote too was lost. And so the clause prohibiting slavery was lost, and as Civil War General John A. Logan wrote later in his book,
“Thus was lost the great opportunity of restricting Slavery to the existing Slave States, and of settling the question peaceably for all time” (The Great Controversy, p. 4).
Both the slavery issue as well as relations with the native American people were the main weaknesses of the American nation and the Philadelphia church. Up to that time, studies of biblical law had been extensive for two centuries, but their viewpoint was still largely based upon the Old Covenant. Not truly understanding the New Covenant, they failed to see the full distinction between the power of the physical sword and the power of the sword of the Spirit.
Hence, they conquered men by physical force and enslaved those that they had conquered. If they had understood the power of the spiritual sword, they would have used it to set men free, rather than to enslave them. But the principle of brotherly love was yet restricted to white people, and many (especially those in government and in the legal system) did not consider non-whites to be “men” in legal language.
For this reason, the government believed itself to be free to violate any treaty with the Indian tribes, for they were not included in the legal definition of “men” when the treaties were written. Hence, only the overcomers were able to meet the standard of holiness and truth presented by the One who gave the message to the Philadelphia church.
The key of David is agape Love. David’s name means “love,” so his key is the key of love. The love of God is impartial, for James 2:8, 9 says,
8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
History shows that the law of love was the key of David that was offered to the church of Philadelphia from 1776-1914. Yet the church of Brotherly Love failed to understand the basic principle of phileo love in their study of the divine law. Because they, as a whole, did not grasp that key, which would have opened up the door fully, the Philadelphia church era ended in captivity, even as the Hezekiah church ended in captivity to Babylon.
The Jews Who Are Not Jews
Revelation 3:9 says,
9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them to come and to bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
This is an expanded version of Rev. 2:9, which we saw in our study of the Smyrna church. The Smyrna church was the New Covenant equivalent of the Korah church. Korah rebelled against Moses and Aaron, and he proved to be a rebellious usurper. He was ambitious and wanted to be the high priest, though God had not called him for that purpose. Hence, he was of “the synagogue of Satan” (or, adversary) in his day, one who wanted to usurp the authority of someone else’s calling.
The same spiritual problem had surfaced in Smyrna, and a similar problem had emerged in the church of Philadelphia. Prophetically speaking, however, this represents a different church era. In the Hezekiah church under the Old Covenant, the usurper was Shebna, the king’s chief steward over the royal household. He had usurped the position of Eliakim for a time, but Isaiah prophesied that this situation would be rectified, for Eliakim was truly called to have that position of authority.
In the Philadelphia church era (1776-1914), we see a broader fulfillment of this Old Testament story of Shebna and Eliakim. The theme shifts from Korah, who desired the priesthood, to Shebna, who desired to hold the key of David. Literally speaking, this was the key to the royal treasury, which funded that which the steward was responsible to oversee.
Modern Shebna in Prophecy
The “Shebna” of the Philadelphia era has been the Rothschild family of Jewish bankers who became “guardians of the papal treasure.” The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. X, under the heading “Rothschild,” tells us,
“Meanwhile the Nationalist and Reactionary parties in France desired to counterbalance the "Semitic" influence of the Rothschilds by establishing a banking concern which should be essentially Catholic. Accordingly in 1876 the Union Générale was founded with a capital of 4,000,000 francs, increased to 25,000, 000 fraces in 1878 under the direction of a certain Bontoux. After various vicissitudes, graphically described by Zola in his novel "L'Argent," the Union failed, and brought many of the Catholic nobility of France to ruin, leaving the Rothschilds still more absolutely the undisputed leaders of French finance, but leaving also a legacy of hatred which had much influence on the growth of the anti-Semitic movement in France. Something analogous occurred in England when the century-long competition of the Barings and the Rothschilds culminated in the failure of the former in 1893; but in this case the Rothschilds came to the rescue of their rivals and prevented a universal financial catastrophe. It is a somewhat curious sequel to the attempt to set up a Catholic competitor to the Rothschilds that at the present time the latter are the guardians of the papal treasure.”
In other words, the Rothschilds became the financial stewards of the Vatican’s wealth, having the key to the treasury of the Roman church. The European powers in 1815, who signed the Holy Alliance at the Congress of Vienna, appointed the Rothschild bankers as guardians over all papal property for a period of 99 years.
The key is in understanding what a guardian is. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a guardian as:
“A guardian is a person lawfully invested with the power, and charged with the duty, of taking care of the person and managing the property and rights of another person who, for some peculiarity of status, or defect of age, understanding, or self-control, is considered incapable of administering his own affairs.”
Because of the corrupt and subversive manner in which the Roman church had used its resources, Napoleon took the pope captive in 1798, abolished the papacy for a time, and then resurrected it later. After Napoleon’s defeat, the three other main powers of Europe (Russia, Germany, and Austria) met in Vienna to redraw the map of Europe and also to decide the fate of the Roman church. As the Jewish Encyclopedia tells us, they put the Vatican under legal guardianship of the Rothschild banks so that the church could not continue to subvert the monarchs of Europe.
When this arrangement began is not stated, but the article above implies that a Catholic bank, Union Générale, had been set up in 1876 to compete with the Jewish Rothschild banks that had wanted to manage the papal treasure prior to that time. The Rothschilds, as “bankers to the Holy Alliance” (Neall Ferguson, The House of Rothschild, Vol. II, p. 127), were the logical ones to appoint as “guardians of the papal treasure.” The problem, of course, was that the Rothschilds used this power for personal gain and to promote the establishment of a false “Israel” in 1948.
Hence, the Rothschilds used their position of trust to replace true Judah with those who say they are Jews, but who lie (Rev. 3:9). This issue was seen in its prophetic type in the story of Shebna in the time of King Hezekiah, and its fulfillment came in the time of the church of Philadelphia, that is, the Hezekiah church era.
As we will see later, this situation provides us with an early summary of the prophetic history that is yet to be revealed when we study the second beast in Revelation 13. The “beast coming up out of the earth” is a banking beast which forms an alliance with the first (papal, religious) beast from the sea (“Holy See”).
The point is that the Rothschilds have played the role of Shebna, both in the Philadelphia church and the Laodicean era—and beyond. They are the ones “who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie.” Nonetheless, the prophecy in Rev. 3:9 shows that they will be overthrown and replaced by prophetic “Eliakim,” those who are truly called as overcomers to hold the key of David. These are the ones who steward the Kingdom by Love, rather than by personal greed or by racial bias and partiality.
The Hour of Testing
Revelation 3:10 continues,
10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.
The “hour of testing,” from a prophetic standpoint, began in 1914 with World War I and the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which put the world into the bondage of Mystery Babylon. The Federal Reserve Bank is owned by 12 banking families in alliance with the Vatican. It was the crowning achievement of the unholy alliance between the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth.
God promised that the Philadelphia church would avoid this “hour of testing,” leaving it to the final church era to experience. Laodicea is the Church of the Captivity. So also we see with Hezekiah himself. He was spared from captivity, though the Assyrians had surrounded Jerusalem and had deported most of the Judeans from surrounding communities (2 Kings 18:13). But Hezekiah sought God, and Jerusalem was delivered (2 Kings 19:35, 36).
Nonetheless, God tested the “strength” of Hezekiah when the envoys of the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem after hearing how Hezekiah had been healed miraculously. At the time of his healing, God had given him a sign where the sun went back ten steps on the sun dial (2 Kings 20:11). No doubt the Babylonian astronomers had taken notice of this, and they sent envoys to investigate the rumors (2 Kings 20:12).
In 2 Chron. 32:31 we read that God tested Hezekiah through this visit:
31 And even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.
Hezekiah foolishly showed the temple treasures to the Babylonian envoys. 2 Kings 20:13 says, “there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.” As a consequence, Isaiah the prophet told him in 2 Kings 20:17,
17 “Behold the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,” says the Lord.
So spoke the Spirit of Might (strength) to Hezekiah, whose name means “Strength of Yahweh.” The Spirit of Might had tested Hezekiah, and though he was a godly king, he failed this test, perhaps because of his pride or dependency upon his riches. Yet Hezekiah submitted to the word of the Lord and was glad that God decided to delay the judgment until after he was dead. 2 Kings 20:19 says,
19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Is it not so, if there shall be peace and truth in my days?”
And so Hezekiah was spared the “hour of testing” that was to come upon Judah and Jerusalem, when Babylon would bring them into captivity. All of this became a pattern of prophecy for a future time in the churches of Philadelphia and Laodicea. Philadelphia was spared, but it foolishly laid the foundations for the captivity of the Laodicean church, which began in 1914.
The lesson is given in Rev. 3:11,
11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.
The Babylonians were not able to take the crown of Hezekiah, but they did take the crown of Judah soon afterward. In like manner, this warning was given to the Philadelphia church. The implication is that the Laodicean church would be dethroned and go into captivity on account of the root of spiritual pride that had arisen during the Philadelphia era. They were proud of their wealth and prosperity accumulated through the unholy alliance with the Rothschild banks.
The Temple Pillars
Rev. 3:12, 13 gives the concluding 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?
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 never to 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 done 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 by example 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.
Boaz, the Pillar of Christ’s First Coming
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 Deut. 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” (Heb. 2:11), are called to raise up children on behalf of our elder Brother. We are called to “establish a name” for our Brother (Deut. 25:7) and to “build up [Jesus’] house” (Deut. 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.
Jachin, the Pillar of Christ’s Second Coming
The other pillar was named Jachin, “He will establish.” All things are established by two or three witnesses (Deut. 19:15; 2 Cor. 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” (Deut. 33:2). This is affirmed in Jude 14. Hence, the law was fulfilled by two or 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 Gal. 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” (Gal. 4:25). Slaves are not inheritors, even if they are believers. The New Jerusalem, or prophetic “Sarah,” is said to be “our mother” (Gal. 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 Gal. 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 Rev. 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 letter, known as The Balfour Declaration, was sent in 1917 by British Foreign Secretary, Lord Arthur Balfour, to 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 mindset. They induced the church to think that the Old Jerusalem would be the capital of the coming Kingdom, in order to gain Christian support for a Jewish state with an earthly temple from which place Christ would rule the earth. To indoctrinate Christians with this new view, 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. To most of them, the terms Jew and Israelite are synonymous, and the New Jerusalem is simply the restored city of earthly Jerusalem.
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” (Rev. 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 (Gal. 3:9, 29) are looked upon with horror, as if the curse of God is upon them (Gen. 12:3). Yet even Jesus Himself was not impressed with men’s genealogy, for He said in Matt. 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.