Q. Hi Jack,
In Revelation 3:12, Jesus says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore.” Though this reference is made in a letter to the Church at Philadelphia, I know that this is not a function of Church Age believers, but would seem to point to tribulation martyrs. I cannot find a reference to this in any of your other writings. Could you please clear up my confusion?
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A. It’s clear, as you said, from Revelation 3:7 that Jesus was addressing the church in Philadelphia here. So He had to be speaking metaphorically.
The word pillar is used four times in the New Testament, and every time it is a metaphor. For example, Paul called James, Peter and John pillars in Galatians 2:9. Which indicated they were esteemed as leaders. Even today we think of civic leaders as being pillars of the community.
The word for go out when used metaphorically means to forsake.
I believe that’s the sense in which Jesus was using these words in Revelation 3:12.
Here’s the picture: during the Millennium the church will be kings and priests who reign with Jesus on earth. Isaiah 2:3 tells us that during that time the law will be the temple law. And we will be esteemed as leaders of the temple. Never leaving or forsaking its principles.