1. Jesus said that He had opened a door for the church of Philadelphia

After declaring Himself to be the One with all power and authority, or the One holding the key of David, Jesus then told the church of Philadelphia that He had set an open door before them that no one would be able to shut:

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee (Revelation 3: 7 – 9)

2. The meaning of “set before thee”

Didōmi  is the word used in the text for “set”.  I examined its usage in the New Testament scripture (King James Version) and found that in this context it would mean:

  • to give
  • gave

3. What had Jesus given to the church of Philadelphia?

The answer is in Revelation 3: 9:

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee (Revelation 3: 8- 9).

Jesus said that He would cause the members of the Jewish synagogue to recognize that the  church of Philadelphia was loved by Him.  Jesus was very scathing in His remarks about the Jewish synagogue in Philadelphia. This was nothing new. During His earthly ministry He had exposed the hypocrisy, control  and powerlessness of the leaders of the religious order of His day. In fact, the synagogue of  Smyrna had also come under His scrutiny.

With tongue in cheek, The Lord referred to these Jews as pretenders – they say they are Jews, but are not – they are the synagogue of Satan.

4. The synagogue of Satan!

The Lord knew how to infuriate the religious order of the day!  These were religious people who were extremely hostile to the church of the Lord. This explains why he called them the synagogue of Satan.  Matthew 23    is perhaps one of the Lord’s most scathing rebuke of the religious leaders of His day.

5. I will make them to come and worship before thy feet

Proskyneō  is used for worship in the text. People worshipped:

  • when asking for a favor
  • when praying for healing
  • with bowing of the knees
  • by falling down on their faces when the secrets of their hearts are exposed by the prophetic ministry

6. But why would the Jews fall down and worship at the feet of the church?

I know that Jesus did not intend for the synagogue to worship at the feet of the Christians as if they were God.  The Lord was prophesying about a momentous event that would cause the Jews to give high respect to the church. I thought that the best possible explanation for the Jews coming to worship at the feet of the church in Philadelphia could be found in cross reference to the impact of the prophetic ministry.  The exposure of the secrets and hypocrisies of the members of the synagogue would have such impact that they would be forced to confess that the Lord was with His church and that He loved His people:

If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or [one] unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on [his] face he will worship/ Proskyneō
God, and report that God is in you of a truth (1 Cor 14: 23 – 25).

The irony is that the root word  for Proskyneō   comes from  “from πρός (G4314) and a probable derivative of κύων (G2965) – meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand”  (blueletterbible.org). In other words, Jesus prophesied that He would hand over the enemies of the church on a platter.  He would place the members of the synagogue in a position in which they would be forced to grovel to His church.  Talk about the Lord’s sense of humor!

My imagination runs wild as I try to imagine the scenario and the events leading up to the humiliation of the Lord’s enemies.  The Lord prophesied that no one would be able to shut this door once it was open.

Take courage, believer. This reward is for those who keep the word of the Lord and refuse to deny His name.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday! Blessings!

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