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12If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God; you will never go out of it. I will write on you the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.

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12. pillar in the temple—In one sense there shall be "no temple" in the heavenly city because there shall be no distinction of things into sacred and secular, for all things and persons shall be holy to the Lord. The city shall be all one great temple, in which the saints shall be not merely stones, as m the spiritual temple now on earth, but all eminent as pillars: immovably firm (unlike Philadelphia, the city which was so often shaken by earthquakes, Strabo [12 and 13]), like the colossal pillars before Solomon's temple, Boaz (that is, "In it is strength") and Jachin ("It shall be established"): only that those pillars were outside, these shall be within the temple.

my God—(See on Re 2:7).

go no more out—The Greek is stronger, never more at all. As the elect angels are beyond the possibility of falling, being now under (as the Schoolmen say) "the blessed necessity of goodness," so shall the saints be. The door shall be once for all shut, as well to shut safely in for ever the elect, as to shut out the lost (Mt 25:10; Joh 8:35; compare Isa 22:23, the type, Eliakim). They shall be priests for ever unto God (Re 1:6). "Who would not yearn for that city out of which no friend departs, and into which no enemy enters?" [Augustine in Trench].

write upon him the name of my God—as belonging to God in a peculiar sense (Re 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; and especially Re 22:4), therefore secure. As the name of Jehovah ("Holiness to the Lord") was on the golden plate on the high priest's forehead (Ex 28:36-38); so the saints in their heavenly royal priesthood shall bear His name openly, as consecrated to Him. Compare the caricature of this in the brand on the forehead of the beast's followers (Re 13:16, 17), and on the harlot (Re 17:5; compare Re 20:4).

name of the city of my God—as one of its citizens (Re 21:2, 3, 10, which is briefly alluded to by anticipation here). The full description of the city forms the appropriate close of the book. The saint's citizenship is now hidden, but then it shall be manifested: he shall have the right to enter in through the gates into the city (Re 22:14). This was the city which Abraham looked for.

newGreek, "kaine." Not the old Jerusalem, once called "the holy city," but having forfeited the name. Greek, "nea," would express that it had recently come into existence; but Greek, "kaine," that which is new and different, superseding the worn-out old Jerusalem and its polity. "John, in the Gospel, applies to the old city the Greek name Hierosolyma. But in the Apocalypse, always, to the heavenly city the Hebrew name, Hierousalem. The Hebrew name is the original and holier one: the Greek, the recent and more secular and political one" [Bengel].

my new name—at present incommunicable and only known to God: to be hereafter revealed and made the believer's own in union with God in Christ. Christ's name written on him denotes he shall be wholly Christ's. New also relates to Christ, who shall assume a new character (answering to His "new name") entering with His saints on a kingdom—not that which He had with the Father before the worlds, but that earned by His humiliation as Son of man. Gibbon, the infidel [Decline and Fall, ch. 64], gives an unwilling testimony to the fulfilment of the prophecy as to Philadelphia from a temporal point of view, Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect,—a column in a scene of ruins—a pleasing example that the paths of honor and safety may sometimes be the same."




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