THE SEVEN CHURCHES

Church Of The Ages

To The Church In Ephesus

To the angel (messenger) of the assembly (Church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars (which are the messengers of the seven Churches) in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands (which are the seven Churches): AMP Version

The designation "angel" refers to the pastor of the Church. The Lord commended this Church in four (4) ways:

a) Their devotion in service, "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance,

b) Their deeds of righteousness, "I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men." They hated the deeds of the Nicolaitians, a cult that professed faith in Christ, but taught (freedom to live without moral law) and practiced licentious living.

c) Their doctrinal soundness, "that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false."

d) Their diligence under testing, "You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary."

To The Church In Thyatira

A military city situated in a fertile agricultural valley, it was noted for commerce, trade guilds, and craftsmen specializing in tanning, bronze, pottery, and purple dye. Christians most likely belinged to trade guilds, which put pressure on them to become involved in pagan worship. The Lord commended the Church for four works:

a) Their love for Christ

b) Their service

c) Their faith

d) Their patience/endurance under trial.

The Lord did, however, express concerns, especially how they allowed, "that woman, Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach." This is referring to a woman in the Church whose teaching corrupted God's people. Christian workers were expected to join the trade guilds in Thyatira, where many of these immoralities were commonly practiced. Failure to participate meant losing one's livelihood and being blackballed from a trade.

To The Church In Smyrna

There was no condemnation for this Church, only commendation. Politically, they suffererd persecution from the Roman Empire. Physically, they were fed to lions or set upon by wild dogs, crucified, tarred, burned at the stake, and boiled in oil. The famous Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, was burned at the stake in the arena at Rome around 155 A.D.

To The Church In Pergamum

Pergamum was a center of learning, medicine, and religious books. Satan set up his center of operations here. He sought to control peoples minds through learning, their bodies through healing, and their souls through pagan religion. They tolerated the "doctrine of Balaam." Balaam was a gifted prophet who prostituted his gift for financial gain and worldly honor.

To The Church In Sardis

Sardis was situated on five major trade routes running through Lydia. The Lord gave no commendation to this Church, only criticism: "I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead." Sardis had the look of life and a reputation for religious activity, but it lacked evidence of spiritual life. Many modern-day Churches live on the spiritual reputation of yester-years, but have been spiritually dead for years. Christ counseled this Church to seek spiritual healing:

  • They were to "be watchful" v. 2
  • They were to "strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die" v. 2
  • The Lord called them to "remember, therefore, how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent" v. 3
  • The Lord made special mention of those who had not compromised their faith ....... v. 4

To The Church In Philadelphia

The Lord commended the Church at Phiadelphia for its good works. Although they had only "a little strength," the Lord said that they "kept (His) word, and hast not denied (His) name." Christ presented Himself in three ways to this Church:

a) He is "Holy" (v. 7). As God, Christ is holy, entirely set apart from sin and sinners. Holiness points to Christ's majestic purity or ethical majesty. b) He is "True" (v. 7). Christ is the true God, distinct from all others. He is the source of all knowledge and truth in the universe. c) He is the one "who holds the key of David." What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.

The imagery of the "key of David" is mentioned in the context of Isaiah 22:20-22. Eliakim, who had replaced unfaithful Shebna as King Hezekiah's steward, was given authority over the King's house and his treasury. The key represents authority and power over the Davidic house and kingdom. No one could reverse what Eliakim opened or shut. In the same way, Christ, who is holy, true, and of the Davidic line, possesses absolute authority to administer the spiritual and material affairs of God's Kingdom.

Numerically, the Church was not very strong, but God had infused this faithful group with spiritual power enabling them to be true to Him name in the midst of satanic opposition. Because of this small group of believers commitment the Lord gave them an open door for evangelizing the surrounding region.

To The Church In Laodicea

The Lord had no commendation for the Laodicean Church, but severely censured and condemned its spiritual condition. Christ said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either one or the other." v. 15.

The Lord found some good works in each of the other Churches mentioned in Revelation, but not one good work in this Church. They were not cold, referring to people lacking salvation, untouched and unresponsive toward spiritual things. Nor were they hot, referring to true believers who had received Jesus as Savior and showed spiritual fervor in their Christian service. Christ described them as "Lukewarm".

Do you see your Church in this group of seven?

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Comments 10 comments

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

What an interesting hub...Thanks for that. G-Ma :o) hugs


SirDent 8 years ago

Great hub giving out lots of information about the churches. It certainly gives a person something to really think about also.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you G-Ma Johnson for your comment and contribution to this hub; and you too SirDent, it is always good when we, as Christians, are on the same page.


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

Whezo -

Love that you have published once again. As always, you intrigue me with your interpretations and knowledge of the Bible.

I really love the number seven. Whenever I am studying religion and the number seven comes into play... I know it is a signal of perfection or perfecting of the Saints, which required proper authority.

His servants, whom He has called - are those with proper authority to administer His Gospel in all ages. This is important, because John was speaking not of just what was right in front of him, but more - he was laying out the history of the world, and the ultimate redemption of man.

His vision or revelation, which he was commanded to record for the world - cannot be seen only in the moment, but its scope and purpose for the whole must be considered in each account within the vision, thus the seven churches.

The world was created in seven days... or made complete. There are seven days in the week - of which we are to rest on the seventh, as it is a Holy Day... but more importantly, God commanded it. He is teaching us of covenants, which bless.

When God commands and we obey, according to law - He can now bless us! The covenant of the seventh day is a perpetual covenant... it repeats and is intended to bless all of His children. God is the authority and to Him and His servants... we must be obedient.

There are seven millenia of which the history of the world will pass through, prior to it being brought back into His presence. I believe that this pattern of seven has everything to do with our own pattern for coming unto God.

I love the number seven. It is perfect or finished. Not one of us will be perfect in the allotted time that we have here upon the earth, but through Jesus Christ and our acceptance of Him and His authority as the only way... we can be made perfect or finished... complete.

Thus our purpose for coming to this earth of which He has created for our benefit. This is His great Plan for our eternal happiness... and of which I believe John's vision and purpose for it - is meant to teach as it is revealed.

Great Hub:-)

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you LdsNana-AskMormon for your, always, insightful contribution. Yes, this is a perfecting pattern, and we are to be mindful of this when we are fellowshipping within our own assemblies. We are either part of the perfecting pattern, or we are to be spewed out as being 'Lukewarm'. And yes, I willl continue to publish, answer and make comments, as time permits. Always good to hear from you.


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

What an inspiring and informative read. The seven churches in Revelation 1-3 are snapshots (I believe) of our lives: What they should be, what they are, and what they will be. Thank you for offering your insight and wisdom to us. It seems I have a bit more reading to do.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

Wehzo,

Interesting observations concerning the seven churches. I am even more intrigued by the question you asked at the end of the Hub. Something to really ponder I suppose. I see this as an individual instruction as well as a church wide instruction. I can easily see myself needing these guidlines given, as I can see the areas that I need to improve in daily. It also makes me realize my strengths as well. Thank you for your insightful post, it is good to see you again on Hubpages after your little break.


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you Rob, for your gracious contribution to this hub; and yes, we can, and should, individualize this 'Seven Church Pattern' to do a personal inventory of our own standing with the Lord, family, friends, community, etc., I have to admit, I did miss my hubpage family, and it is refreshing to be back; thank you In The Doghouse for adding your respected opinion.


Bazuni 21 months ago

Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring wrtreis? I'm hoping to start my own site soon but I'm a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I'm completely confused .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 21 months ago from Detroit, MI Author

Hello Bazuni,

I'm not sure if one has an advantage over the other because I don't write to get paid, at least not on this site. So far, in the years I've been writing hubs, I believe I've gotten paid maybe $50.00 or less. So if you love to write, I suggest you write on many different sites until you're comfortable with one.

God bless you,

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