“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11)
“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 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 I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:11–13)
The Lord tells the believers in Philadelphia to hold on tight to what they have, and they are to do so because the Lord is coming “quickly.” This means that the coming referred to had relevance to them, two thousand years ago. The Lord is encouraging them to allow no man to take their crown. The fact that they were in present possession of that crown meant that they were already ruling with Christ. They had a crown they were not to surrender, and were to hold fast to it through the coming trial that would culminate in the Lord’s coming. Comparing this passage with the rest of Revelation we can see that this is the coming of the Lord in judgment on Jerusalem, which was finally destroyed in 70 A.D.
The one who overcomes is going to be given rest from battle. The expression “go no more out” is used to describe Moses at 120 years old, unable to go across the Jordan to the war of conquest (Dt. 31:2). And when David is almost killed in battle and Abishai rescued him (2 Sam. 21:17), the men of David swore that he should “go no more out.” In this case, the battle would have been won, and the saints of Philadelphia are old and honored warriors, overcomers. They have been made pillars in the Temple.
The Temple is referred to again in another way. They have the name of God written on them, and they have the name of the city of God, which is the New Jerusalem, also written on them. They are pillars in that Temple, and are part of city that is built entirely out of living stones. We are being given a glimpse of the theme of the entire book of Revelation, which is the replacement of the old Jerusalem with the New Jerusalem, the replacement of old Israel with new Israel, the replacement of the nation of Israel with the cosmic and ultimate city, the Church.
The Jerusalem above is the mother of us all (Gal. 4:26), the Church. The angel later in Revelation tells John that he will show him the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev.21:9), and goes on to show him the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10). The New Jerusalem is a perfect cube, which is the shape of the Holy of Holies (1 Kings 6:20). The Christian Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19), and all together we are a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5). The history of the world since Pentecost should be understood as that bride walking down that aisle, the great aisle that comes down from heaven.
The overcomers of Philadelphia (and every overcomer since) have three names written on them. The first is the name of God, the second is the name of the Church, and the Lord’s “new name.” Those who have an ear to listen should make sure they listen.