Revelation 3:12

See. Who is the Overcomer?

I will make him a pillar in the temple
Some have seen this as an allusion to the pillars in Solomon’s Temple. 1K. 7:13-22; 2Chr. 2Chr. 3:17).”1 Others find the analogy flawed in this instance:

To find any allusion here . . . to the two monumental pillars, Jachin and Boaz, which Solomon set up, not in the temple, but in the open vestibule before the temple (1K. 1K. 7:21; 2Chr. 2Chr. 3:15, 2Chr. 3:17), I must say, appears to me quite beside the mark; and if there were any question on this point, the words which follow, “and he shall go no more out,” appear entirely decisive upon this point. These famous pillars were always without the temple; they would therefore have served very ill to set forth the blessedness of the redeemed, who should be always within it.2

The language has much in common with Temple language elsewhere in the NT which is applied to the body of the believer and the presence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. See Temple of the Believer. Since there is no Temple in the New Jerusalem (Rev. Rev. 21:22+), this promise may be similar to the promise concerning the Millennium made to the Thyatiran overcomer (Rev. Rev. 2:27+) and denote participation in the Millennial Temple during the Messianic Age.3 Some view the entire New Jerusalem as a “temple.” See New Jerusalem. The image of the pillar also evokes passages where the righteous are compared to fruitful trees “planted in the house of the Lord” (Ps. Ps. 92:12-14), God’s house being the Temple (John John 2:16).

go no more out
This is perhaps the most precious promise among all the promises given the overcomer. For this phrase relates to fellowship with God! The entire message of Scripture, from Genesis Gen. 1:1 to Revelation Rev. 22:1+, can be found within this pregnant phrase. See Hide and Seek. To the overcomer in Philadelphia is the promise of the fulfillment of that first love so lacking in Ephesus, to walk once again in full fellowship with God (Gen. Gen. 3:8; Gen. 5:24; Rev. Rev. 21:3+, Rev. 21:22+).

write on him the name of My God
The written name indicates character and ownership (Num. Num. 6:27; John John 1:12). These will be owned by God and molded according to His character. They are “sons of God” (Mtt. Mat. 5:9; Luke Luke 20:36; John John 1:12; Rom. Rom. 8:14, Rom. 8:19; Gal. Gal. 3:26). In the Tribulation, the 144,000 Jews have the Father’s name written on their foreheads (Rev. Rev. 14:1+) which identifies whose they are and provides for their protection (Rev. Rev. 7:3+; Rev. 9:4+). Here, the name is recorded on all the redeemed in the eternal state (Rev. Rev. 22:4+). In the last days, Satan will provide his own imitation of this identification (Rev. Rev. 13:16-17+; Rev. 17:5+; Rev. 20:4+). See Master Imitator. Previously, a new name was written on a stone given to the overcomer at Pergamos. See commentary on Revelation 2:17.

name of the city of My God
Jerusalem will have a new name during the Millennium:

The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. (Isa. Isa. 62:2)

At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. (Jer. Jer. 3:17)

“All the way around shall be eighteen thousand cubits; and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” (Eze. Eze. 48:35)

The Lord will name the millennial Jerusalem “The Throne of the LORD” and “THE LORD IS THERE” indicating the presence of Messiah Jesus who will rule from the throne of David in the midst of the city.4 However this name is that of the New Jerusalem and is not said to be new.5 The name is applied to the overcomer as a declaration of his right to citizenship in the eternal city (Rev. Rev. 21:2+). Citizenship declared now (Php. Php. 3:20) will be realized there. This verse may also contain an allusion to an event of Philadelphian history whereby the city took a new name:

The gratitude of the victims to the emperor is . . . variously attested . . . A huge pedestal found at Puteoli bears a dedicatory inscription to Tiberius surrounded by the names of Asian cities, . . . The name ‘Philadelphea’ [sic ] is fully preserved. Later coins and inscriptions of some of these cities show that they assumed an imperial name or cognomen about this time. . . [Philadelphia] takes the name ‘Neocaesarea’ . . . The concept of Philadelphia as a new city with a new name to honour the divine emperor whose patronage had restored its fortunes has again been related to Rev. Rev. 3:12+.6

city of My God
Earthly Jerusalem has been chosen by God. He has put His name there (1K. 1K. 8:48; 1K. 11:13, 1K. 11:36; 1K. 14:21; 2Chr. 2Chr. 6:6, 2Chr. 6:38; 2Chr. 12:13; Ps. Ps. 132:13; Isa. Isa. 49:14-16). Yet for all its glory, even in the Millennium when it is restored (Isa. Isa. 60:1; (62), the earthly Jerusalem is not the final destiny of the saints or the abode of God’s presence. For at the end of the Millennium there will be a “new heavens and new earth” (Rev. Rev. 21:2+) and a New Jerusalem which will be the ultimate destiny of the saints. Elsewhere, Jesus also refers to the Father as My God (Mtt. Mat. 27:46; John John 20:17; cf. Eph. Eph. 1:17; Heb. Heb. 1:8-9). We are Christ’s and Christ is the Father’s (1Cor. 1Cor. 3:23).

New Jerusalem
New is καινῆς [kainēs] , new in quality. The New Jerusalem bears little similarity to the Jerusalem of our time or of the Millennium (Rev. Rev. 20:4-6+). This is not the millennial city, which many Scriptures declare will be restored to prominence among the nations. It is the eternal abode of the saints:

In Holy Scripture there are two Jerusalems: the one is on earth in the land of Palestine; the other is ‘above’ in heaven (Gal. Gal. 4:25-26; Heb. Heb. 12:22). Now the Old Testament prophets speak of a city which, in the coming Kingdom, shall be reclaimed from Gentile power, rebuilt, restored to the historic nation of Israel, and made the religious center of the world. This Jerusalem cannot be the ‘heavenly Jerusalem,’ for that city is impeccably holy, the eternal dwelling of the true God, and has never been defiled or marred by human sin and rebellion. Any such notion is to the highest degree impossible and absurd. All predictions of a restored and rebuilt Jerusalem must therefore refer to the historical city of David on earth.7

which comes down out of heaven
This is the “Jerusalem above” (Gal. Gal. 4:24), the “heavenly Jerusalem,” the ultimate goal and destination of all the saints (John John 14:2-3; Heb. Heb. 13:14).

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect. (Heb. Heb. 12:22-23)

She comes down out of heaven as a “bride, the Lamb’s wife”:

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. (Rev. Rev. 21:9-10+)

She is referred to as a bride and wife for this is the final residence of the wife of the Lamb (Rev. Rev. 19:7+).

My new name
New is καινο῀ν [kainon] , new in quality. This new name, which denotes a yet unrevealed aspect of the character of Jesus (Rev. Rev. 3:12+; Rev. 19:12+) will be written on the overcomer. This recalls the mysterious, but unrevealed name attending the Angel of the Lord and Son of God throughout Scripture. The name is hinted at, but never revealed: when Jacob wrestled with the Angel and was named Israel (Gen. Gen. 32:29); when the Angel announced the birth of Samson to his parents (Jdg. Jdg. 13:6, Jdg. 13:18); in the question concerning the Son of God (Pr. Pr. 30:4); and in God’s new name to be written on the overcomer (Rev. Rev. 3:12+). The overcomer is intimately identified with He who overcame (John John 16:33). That the overcomer bears the names of both the Father and the Son is yet another clear statement of the deity of Christ—for God the Father would never share ownership or identity with any non-God.


1 E. W. Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1984, 1935), 96.

2 Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1861), 182.

3 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 65.

4 “Heb. Jehovah shammah. i.e. The Lord is there. Signifying the personal presence of Messiah who will reign visibly in Israel.”—Jerome Smith, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992), Eze. 48:35.

5 Trench believes it will be “The Lord is there” (Eze. Eze. 48:35). [Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia]

6 Colin J. Hemer, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), 157.

7 Alva J. McClain, The Greatness Of The Kingdom (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1959), 244.