What does Revelation 3:9 mean?
ESV: Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie — behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.
NIV: I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
NASB: Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
CSB: Note this: I will make those from the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews and are not, but are lying—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you.
NLT: Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue — those liars who say they are Jews but are not — to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
Verse Commentary:
This is the second time in the letters to the seven churches that the "synagogue of Satan" is mentioned, and the fourth time Satan is referenced (Revelation 2:9; 2:13; 2:24). Apparently, the Jews of Philadelphia, like those of Smyrna, made life hard for the believers in Philadelphia. This is not a blanket reference to all of Judaism, nor all of the Jewish people. Rather, Jesus is indicting a specific group in a specific area. In fact, Jesus said these offenders were Jews in name only. He called them liars. They actually belonged to Satan and served Him.

Perhaps the aggressors tried to force the Christians to be circumcised and to put themselves under the law of Moses, just as Judaizers tried to persuade the churches of Galatia to accept circumcision and submit to the law of Moses (Galatians 1:6–7; 3:1–6). But the Christians at Philadelphia resisted the Judaizers' efforts.

Jesus promised to compel the false Jews to acknowledge the believers' valid faith in Jesus and recognize that Jesus loves the believers. This is most likely a reference to the ultimate victory of good over evil: the day when all false teachers will have to bow to Jesus and confess that He is Lord (Philippians 2:19–11). Christians will witness that triumphant event (Revelation 20:12–15).
Verse Context:
Revelation 3:7–13 contains Jesus' letter to the church at Philadelphia. Philadelphia, was a center for exporting the Greek language and culture into the interior of Asia Minor. Thus, it had a secular missionary calling. Just as the city had an open door to the interior, so the church had an open door to spread the gospel. Jesus commends the church in verse 10 and promises to keep it from the tribulation period. He also instructs the church to retain the truth and promises each conqueror special recognition in the New Jerusalem. Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only churches in Revelation not to receive any particular criticism. The church at Philadelphia's characteristics are similar to those of the Church in the 19th and 20th centuries that was a period of frequent revivals and missionary activity.
Chapter Summary:
These final letters symbolize Church history from AD 1500 to the Rapture, the event that transports the Church from earth to be with Jesus. Sardis had a good reputation, but it was actually spiritually dead. Philadelphia had a good opportunity to spread the gospel, and it had kept Jesus' word and had remained loyal to Him. As such, Jesus promises to reward this church's conquerors. Laodicea was proud of its wealth, but was spiritually lukewarm, a characteristic that Jesus detests. He promises to fellowship with anyone in the church who would heed His voice and welcome Him. Laodicea is the only church given no praise by Christ.
Chapter Context:
This chapter concludes the letters Jesus instructed the apostle John to write to seven churches in Asia Minor. Those messages began in chapter 2. This passage ends the section of Revelation that describes the things that are (Revelation 1:19), meaning the things which existed in John's lifetime. Chapter 1 describes what John had seen (Revelation 1:19), and chapter 4 begins John's account of what was to take place in the future (Revelation 1:19).
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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