Lesson 6 Revelation 3:7-13

Lesson 6 Revelation 3:7-13
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A Spiritual Interpretation of Revelation

As taught by:
Unity School for Religious Studies
Unity Village, MO 64065

Lesson Outline

I. MAJOR POINTS
  1. Metaphysical meaning of the church of Philadelphia.
  2. Praise for the church.
  3. Criticism for the church.
  4. Promise of reward for overcoming that which is criticized.
II. READINGS
  1. Rev. 3:7-3:13
  2. Metaphysical Bible Dictionary: "Philadelphia"
  3. Be Ye Transformed 215, 216
III. QUESTIONS
  1. Metaphysically, what does the church of Philadelphia stand for in human nature?
  2. Give a general summary of praise given to the church.
  3. Give a general summary of criticism given to the church.
  4. Give a general summary of the reward for overcoming to be given.

Lesson Text

Rev. 3:7 LETTER TO THE CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA

The word Philadelphia means "brotherly love." Metaphysically, it is the center of the human expression of love. As a divine idea, there is only one love. The church of Philadelphia does not stand for the divine idea of love, but for the many modes of human expression of love. In human nature, the current realization and expression of love as commonly practiced is quite limited and imperfect (in comparison to what it might be). For this reason, very little praise for this church is contained in this letter. It simply states: "'I know your works." (Rev. 3:8)

But this abrupt statement is immediately followed by words of wonderful reassurance: "'... I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."' (Rev. 3:8)

These words tell us something about our human love nature which we are glad to hear. Even though most human beings are not at present accomplishing things through love which could and should be accomplished, nevertheless, a genuine desire to do so is present in most persons. The Christ Mind recognizes this. Most people want to be more loving. Most people have good intentions about giving and receiving love in right ways. Most people would rather be kind than unkind. No one seems to be perfect in any of this as yet. But we want to be! And that is what counts in Spirit. So the Christ Mind has made this wonderful provision for us: "'Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. ...'"

What this means is the Christ Power has established ETERNAL OPPORTUNITY for our human love nature. Never will we be deprived of love in our lives. We need not fear that we will be deprived of opportunities to give and receive love. We need never worry that the time will come when we will not be loved or will not have anyone to love. This shall not happen. This is a promise of the Christ Mind. It has decreed to our human love nature (church of Philadelphia) that one open door has been set before it (eternal opportunities to love) and that nothing in the outer can take this away from it (no one can shut it).

NOTE: There is a lovely affirmation one may use to help keep this realization alive in consciousness: I AM A RADIATING CENTER OF DIVINE LOVE: MIGHTY TO ATTRACT MY GOOD AND TO RADIATE GOOD TO OTHERS.

But like most aspects of human nature at its present level of development, there is a shortcoming. In our human love nature, this shortcoming is pointed out in words very similar to those found in the letter to the church in Smyrna.

Rev. 3:9 "'Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie...'"

Once again, as in the case of the church of Smyrna (prosperity thinking), we have the danger of the presence of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes which claim to be helping the development of our love nature (they say they are Jews) but are actually hindering the correct expression of our love nature (are not Jews, but are of the synagogue of Satan).

It is a sad fact that although humanity values love very highly, considering it the most beautiful of all spiritual qualities, there are still many mistaken beliefs, attitudes, and actions in regard to expressing it, especially in the give-and-take among human beings. Some of these errors have become so widely accepted that it becomes difficult to change them. But once they are detected as errors in our thinking, change is then very possible. Among them we might list:

  1. In a human love relationship, it is necessary to have certain negative emotions, such as possessiveness, passion, jealousy, and exaggerated sentimentality.
  2. The belief that someone or something can take love away from us.
  3. The notion that love is something which can only come to us from without. This is a reversal of Truth, and it causes many wrong connections and wrong priorities in our thinking. Love can be experienced by us as we radiate it from within.
  4. The belief that we should evaluate the love that is in our lives by comparing it with the love which seems to be in other persons' lives. The Truth is that love should be felt as AM INDIVIDUALLY PRECIOUS THING, with no need to make comparisons With what another has.
  5. The tendency to love only those who first give us pleasure or who serve our self interests. (Jesus had some interesting things to say about this. Read Matt. 5:43-48.)

Rev. 3:12 "'Him who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.'"

This promise symbolically describes the attainment of a state of true inner peace, poise, and stability. This most satisfying of all possible inner states is gained by overcoming most of the erroneous beliefs and attitudes concerning human love and following a more spiritually correct pattern in expressing human love.

"I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God" symbolizes the attainment of a realization of strength and peace (pillar).

"Never shall he go out of it" symbolizes becoming no longer a creature of emotional moods, whims, and one who is prone to "fall out" of love without warning.

"I will write on him the name of my God" refers to the name of the human concept of God, which is I AM. (I AM is not really the name of God, but rather names the human concept of or human perception of God.)

"'... and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem...'" The word Jerusalem means "habitation of peace." To have the name of God (I AM) and the name of the city of my God (habitation of peace) written upon a person, symbolizes the gaining by that person of a new realization that: I AM THE HABITATION OF GOD'S PEACE, AND MY HEART IS THE ABODE OF GOD'S PERFECT LOVE.