refers to Solomon, as does the seventh (Laodicea). In the former the reference is to the |Temple| and to the |City;| while, in the latter, it is to the |Throne.|
The promise runs (iii.12), |Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and my new name.|
The reference here to Solomon is unmistakable.
He it was who built the temple, and put in its porch those mysterious pillars |Jachin and Boaz| (1 Kings vii.13-22; 2 Chron. iii.17).
|And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the fight pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin (i.e., He shall establish): and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz (i.e., In it is strength).|
Strength and permanence were thus announced to all who entered that wondrous Temple.
The Temple of God is brought in this Epistle into contrast with the Synagogue of Satan, and those were of the latter who |say they are Jews and are not.| That synagogue has neither strength nor permanence. But the overcomers are endued with Divine strength, and shall have eternal inheritance, for they |shall go no more out.|
Moreover, the promise refers to the name of the overcomer being written in |the city of my God.|
There can be only one interpretation to this promise. Anyone acquainted with Old Testament phraseology will at once go back in memory to such Psalms as xlviii., cxxii., and lxxxvii. In this latter we read:
|Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised:
In the City of our God -- His holy mount.
Beautiful for situation, The joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, The sides of the north, the city of the great king.
As we have heard, so have we seen;
In the city of the Lord of hosts,
In the city of our God: God will establish it for ever| (Psa. xlviii.1, 2, 8)
|His foundation is in the holy mountains.
Jehovah loveth the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of thee,
O city of God. Selah.
I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: Behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia,
This one was born there.
And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her. And He, the Most High, shall establish her.
Jehovah shall count, when he writeth up the peoples 'This man was born there.' Selah.
As well the singers, as the players on instruments [shall say] 'All my springs are in thee'| (Psa. lxxxvii.).
True, the chapter-headings of the A.V. may call this |the nature and glory of the Church.| But we shall prefer to believe God in so plain and literal a description of |the city of God:| and those who are the subjects of the promise will have a blessed knowledge of what it will mean to be written |in the city of my God.|
Ezekiel (chap. xiii.) also addresses Israel; but as he speaks not of promises and blessings, it is not interpreted of the Church, but it is left for the persons mentioned; though they are not more clearly defined here than in the above Psalm. In verse 9 we read of those who |shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am Adonai Jehovah| (Ezek. xiii.9).
The promise in Rev. iii.12 refers to the New Jerusalem (chap. xxi. and xxii.). If the city of David and Solomon was such that |glorious things| were spoken of it as |the city of God,| what will be the glories of that city which |cometh down out of heaven from my God|? And what will be the blessing of Zion and Jerusalem when, as written in Isa. lxii.1, |the righteousness thereof shall go forth as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth|? Then it is that the promise is given, |Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.| (Compare Isa. lx 14). In Isa. lxii.4 and 12 we have further instruction as to this |new name| referred to in Rev. iii.12.