The reign of Constantine the great from the time of his conquering Licinius, was monarchical over the whole Roman Empire. Then the Empire became divided between the sons of Constantine: and afterwards it was again united under Constantius, by his victory over Magnentius. To the affairs of the Church in these three successive periods of time, the third, fourth, and fifth Epistles, that is, those to the Angels of the Churches in Pergamus, Thyatira, and Sardis, seem to relate. The next Emperor was Julian the Apostate.
In the sixth Epistle, to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia, Christ saith: Because in the reign of the heathen Emperor Julian, thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which by the woman’s flying into the wilderness, and the Dragon’s making war with the remnant of her seed, and the killing of all who will not worship the Image of the Beast, shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth, and to distinguish them by sealing the one with the name of God in their foreheads, and marking the other with the mark of the Beast. Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the Temple of my God; and he shall go no more out of it. And I will write upon him the name of my God in his forehead. So the Christians of the Church of Philadelphia, as many of them as overcome, are sealed with the seal of God, and placed in the second Temple, and go no more out. The same is to be understood of the Church in Smyrna, which also kept the word of God’s patience, and was without fault. These two Churches, with their posterity, are therefore the two Pillars, and the two Candlesticks, and the two Witnesses in the second Temple.