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1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Ephesus Smyrna Pergamos Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia Laodicea
"First, Desirable" "Bitter Affliction" "Earthly Heighth" "Sacrifice of Labor" "Prince of Joy" "Love of A Brother" "Just People"
33-70 AD 70-313 313-1157 1157-1367 1367-1517 1517-1874 1874-?
Paul
35-64 AD
John
70-100
Arius
313-336
Waldo
1157-1217
Wycliffe
1367-1384
Luther
1517-1546
Russell
1874-1916
7 Golden Candlesticks First & Last,
Dead and Alive
Sharp 2-Edged Sword Eyes like Fire,
Feet like Brass
Livest and
Art Dead
Key of David Amen,
Faithful & True
Beginning of Creation
Left 1st Love Synagogue of Satan Antipas Jezebel Come as Thief

Hast Little Strength

Lukewarm
Nicolaitanes Tribulation 10 Days Balaam & Balac,
Nicolaitanes
Depths of Satan Defiled Garments Keep from Hour of Temptation,
Hold Fast Crown
Gold Tried,
White Raiment Eyesalve,
Knock at Door,
Sup with Him
Tree of Life Crown of Life,
Not Hurt of 2nd Death
Hidden Manna
White Stone,
New Name
Rod of Iron,
Potter's Vessel
Morning Star
White Raiment,
Confess Name to Father
Pillar in Temple,
Name of God, New Jerusalem, & New Name
Sit in Christ's Throne

For more detail, click on individual Church name.

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STORY OF THE
SEVEN CHURCHES

 

    The Book of Revelation contains the story of the "seven churches."
    While the story is history for the most part, it was prophetic, written in advance to prepare the saints for their trials. The Lord Jesus knew the experiences each stage of the church would have.  He sent a message to the angel of each church to prepare the saints.

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Jesus sent a message to the angel
of each of the seven churches.

 

    What did the angels do?
    In Revelation 8:6 we are told: "And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound."  
    The "angel" of each "church" had a "trumpet." When he received his message from Jesus Christ, the duty of  the "angel" of each "church" was to deliver his message by blowing a "trumpet." 
    We are not told what the "trumpet" messages were. We are only told what followed when the "trumpet" message was delivered. Each message was given to prepare the faithful of each period to endure the trials and circumstances that would be peculiar to their time and place.

    To illustrate, Jesus delivered a message to Israel. The Gospel tells us what happened when Jesus and his disciples preached in Israel. Few people, some 500, became his disciples. Many others thought Jesus was a prophet and a good man.
    The religious leaders found themselves exasperated with Jesus, who was neither a priest nor a Levite, and who had no credentials they could identify. Yet, Jesus assumed the role of a great religious teacher.
    The religious leaders found themselves hating Jesus and wishing to kill him. He threatened their authority, and that made their blood lust run high. The things that happened while Jesus preached, or trumpeted his message, are very similar to what happened when each of the seven messengers blew his trumpet.
    Each message delivered by a trumpet was an action. The events that transpired, once the trumpet message was given, became a reaction.

    The "seven churches"who are they?
    What do you think when you read about any one of the "seven churches?" Do you think each church contained only saints? Did it include some unfaithful Christians? Did it include any "tares"? Did it include some of the second death class?

    The Greek word ecclesia means"a called-out people." All who respond to being called out of the world would constitute the church. Some in the church are faithful to their calling and can be called saints. Others, less faithful, at least for a time, may be considered the Great Company.   Most of those in the church would probably be "tares," the planting of Satan, although in times of persecution there would be fewer "tares."
    When Christianity became popular, the "tares" became the overwhelming majority. Not having the Lord’s Spirit, "tares" are unresponsive to the whole truth. They outnumber the spirit-begotten and become a powerful block within the church, hindering and obstructing what the holy Spirit is endeavoring to accomplish. The fourth class are the "wolves in sheep clothing," the servants of Satan who entered the church to feed upon the flock.
    The "wolves"   are identified in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15:

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

"Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

    The message to each of the churches, which is always given through an "angel," represents a general condition pervading in the church. It does not tell you what each individual saint in each church is doing. However, the general condition will have an enormous effect on the saints. If they can understand what is happening in their time and place, it enables them to discern more clearly the way they must take.
    Those who are not alert and responsive to the Spirit's instructions will find themselves hindered and weakened. The "tares" may find the "angel’s" message disruptive and respond in kind. The "wolf" leaders will be outraged with the truths being proclaimed in their time, even as they were in Jesus' time.

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The Apostle John

    John received the visions of Revelation while exiled on the Isle of Patmos. He was very old, but still keen of mind and had total recall of the visions.
    We do not know whether he was naturally so gifted with memory or whether the Lord impressed these visions so forcefully in his mind that he would not forget the details.
    We think it was a combination of both his natural gifted memory and the power of the holy Spirit that made John such a perfect tool for the Master’s use.
    John wrote his Gospel and his epistles in his old age.
   We see no conflict with him also writing the most dramatic book of the Bible--the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

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Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos

   John had an artist’s eye for detail.   Therefore, we must pay attention to the details.

    Every time the devil imprisoned the saints, it resulted in greater blessings coming to the church.  Paul’s imprisonment enlarged his ministry by not limiting his influence to the local churches personally, which would soon be lost or become twisted and fuzzy.
    When Paul was imprisoned, he  addressed the churches in a most excellent and enduring way. Nearly two thousand years have passed since Paul's mighty pen was laid down in death, but oh, the power of his writings!
    So it was with John’s imprisonment and exile. The most powerful message of the Bible has come down to us through the ages with all its force and vitality undiminished.

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The Seven Churches

    It is alleged by history that John was later freed from Patmos and that he personally visited the "seven churches of Asia." This would have been a total circuit of about 235 miles.
    Revelation 1:9 indicates this, saying, "I John … was in the isle that is called Patmos," as though he had since left. If that were true, the Revelation message reached each of the literal churches in some form at that very time. Either way,  the natural churches served to picture the seven stages of the Gospel Church.
    If Ephesus pictured the church of Paul’s day, John’s message came a little too late. However, when the message was to be delivered to the "angels" is not mentioned. Like any play, the message could reach back in time as well as into the future.
    Paul, who had visions and revelations more abundant than the other apostles, was, therefore, able to deliver his "trumpet" message to the Ephesus church. The Revelator takes the reader back before the "Lamb" was slain in this narrative, so we see how stories may reach back as well as forward with equal ease.

 

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