“The day of the Lord” is a phrase found 20 times in the Old Testament with earthquake (calamity) often in the context, ( Isaiah 2:12,21; Joel 2:10,11; Zechariah 14:1,5). Peter links “the day of the Lord” with the time of judgment, (2 Peter 3:7-10). The Greek word for judgment is krisis, and crises are mounting. Concerning judgment, God is not eager to condemn us, but our choices will reveal if we are wise or foolish by our readiness. If we make wise choices, God will deliver us as in Bible times.
The church in Philadelphia (3:7-13) stood at an important junction of the imperial post road that ran from Rome through Troas, Pergamum, and Sardis on through to Tarsus and the East. They had an open door through which to share the gospel.
Yet here too a synagogue of Satan opposed the believers. Although no archaeological evidence for a synagogue has been found, a 3rd-century A.D. inscription was found 10 miles east of the city mentioning a "synagogue of the Hebrews". Philadelphia was located in an earthquake-prone region called the Catacecaumene.
Both Sardis and Philadelphia were devastated by earthquakes in A.D. 17. Asian temples were built to withstand severe earthquakes. Their foundations were laid on beds of charcoal covered with wool fleeces, which caused the structure to "float" on the soil like a raft. Each block was joined to another by metal cramps, so that the platform was a unity.
The temple would be the most secure structure in the city, hence the promise to be a pillar in the temple of God was one of security and safety. Inscribed pillars are found throughout Aegean Turkey. A dramatic example is the temple of Zeus at Euromos with dedicatory inscriptions on ten of the eleven standing pillars. Jesus will write divine names as well as his new name on those human "pillars" who overcome.
Philadelphia received a new name twice in the first century: the first time after the A.D. 17 earthquake to "Neocaesarea" in gratitude for Tiberius' generosity, the second time to "Flavia" after Vespasian gave financial assistance following a similar catastrophe.
This post has been edited by crownsevenalphabet: 05 August 2008 - 01:47 PM