Q. Re: Synagogue of Satan (Rev. 3:9) Would you help me understand this phrase in the context of what a Jew should understand? What is the meaning?
A. There are several ways to look at this. Some Mormons say they are the real Jews, claiming to be from the tribe of Ephraim. A view in the Church called replacement theology contends that the Church has inherited the promises of Israel and is “spiritual Israel.” But what I think the Lord was referring to was Paul’s statement in Romans 2:28-29,
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
He was saying that even if a Jewish man is circumcised as a sign of the covenant, he has to be born again to truly be a Jew. Later, in Galatians 3:26-29 Paul wrote that if we’re in Christ we’re Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise, whether Jew or Gentile.