Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Seven Churches

The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and The Seven Churches of Asia (referring to the province of Asia, not the continent), are seven major churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation. All the sites are in modern-day Turkey and no longer have significant Christian populations since they were emptied of Christians under the Treaty of Lausanne.

In Revelation, Jesus Christ instructs his servant John in Revelations1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

The Church at Ephesus: Forgot their initial zeal for the Gospel, also known as the church that had forsaken its first love

ruins-of-celsus-library-in-ephesus 
Photo Coutesy of Dick Osseman Photo Library

Ephesus is the first of seven churches in Asia Minor that received an evaluation of its overall spiritual condition from God:

(Revelation 2:1-6, NIV).

1"To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
      These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

 

The Church of Smyrna Materially poor but rich in character also known as the church that would suffer persecution

ruins-of-marketplace-at-smyrna

Photo Courtesy of Dick Osseman Photo Library

Smyrna is the second of seven churches in Asia Minor that received an evaluation of its overall spiritual condition from God:

(Revelation 2:8-10).

8"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
      These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

 

The Church at Pergamos Clings to ungodly way to run church also known as the church that needed to Repent

ruins-of-pergamos 

Photo Courtesy of Dick Osseman Photo Library

Pergamos is the third of seven churches in Asia Minor that received an evaluation of its overall spiritual condition from God:

Rev 2: 12-17 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
      These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. 14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

 

The Church at Thyatira Allows false prophetess to spread lies also know as the Church that had a false prophetess

mound-with-ruins-of-ancient-thyatira

Photo Source: Mr. Metin Canbalaban

Thyatira is the fourth of seven churches in Asia Minor that receives an evaluation of its overall spiritual condition from God:

 

( Revelation 2:18-29).

18"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
      These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—
27'He will rule them with an iron scepter;
      he will dash them to pieces like pottery'[b]— just as I have received authority from my Father. 28I will also give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches

 

The Church at Sardis Church seems alive but is dead also known  as  the church that had fallen asleep

bath-gymnasium-complex-at-sardis

Sardis is the fifth of seven churches in Asia Minor that received an evaluation of its overall spiritual condition from God:

(Revelation 3:1-4).

1"To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write:
      These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b]of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

The Church at Philadelphia Has only a little strength but spared tribulation also the church that had endured patiently

ruins-of-philadelphia-in-asia-minor

Philadelphia is the sixth of seven churches in Asia Minor that received an evaluation of its overall spiritual condition from God:

(Revelation 3:7-13, NIV).

7"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
      These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

The Church at Laodicea Church is self-satisfied, arrogant also the church with the lukewarm faith

ruins-of-laodicea-in-asia-minor

Laodicea is the seventh and last church in Asia Minor that received an evaluation of its overall spiritual condition from God:

(Revelation 3:14-21, NIV)"

14"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
      These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Lesson

From what we have read so far we can see that Though they were literal churches at the  time in the the book of Revelations there is also serious spiritual significance for churches and believers today. . . Our Lord Jesus Christ told John to write to the literal churches to meet their needs at that time, also to reveal seven different types of individuals/churches throughout history and instruct them in God's truth.

God bless you

15 comments:

Sidharth said...

An evaluation that is so required....Hanny, as I go from blog to blog, I see lack of knowledge, lack of understanding of Scriptures, lack of revelation......very few with life......my heart cries out to Abba to raise up more and more effecient teachers of the Word....I see the amount of work to be done and I think to myself...."Abba, it looks too mammoth to accomplish by me and my team...Raise up more of sound teachers...People all around the world must receive sound teaching, not human theology and philosophy".

I see a heart in you to teach and dig deep into the Word, Hanny. Abba will reveal more of His heart as you change your mind-set to more of His faith....I love coming here, because I see your heart to learn from Abba.....thats the greatest thing ever.

Go deeper and take more deeper with you....

Remember, we're not in this ministry to convince the critics....but to those who are hungry for the Word, we should ask Abba that we'd receive His Spirit of wisdom so we can make the Word simple but revelatory to those who read it....This is very needed today. The urgency of the Spirit is so.

Isaiah said...

Thanks for the pics of the churches, sis. I believe that the words of our Lord concerning the churches are both addressed to them but also serve as warnings to churches through the ages.

IMO, we are the Laodicean church today.

FishHawk said...

An absolutely wonderful post, my dear Hannah IJ!!!

Luckenzo said...

COH,this post about the seven churches is a mirror and evaluation sheet for the church of today.....though written of old, the church of today is in perfect perspective of this post. Lord JESUS give me and all willing souls the Grace and Power to make the church that do your will.

King's Kid said...

Dear Hannah,

Great post Hanna. Thank you for reminding us (I know that we really did not forget) that the Word of God is a Living Word. Every day the truth remains the same. The message was for the church then and the church now.

Channelofhealing said...

Godbless you Sid and thanks for the reminder again

Channelofhealing said...

Brother Isaiah to me I beleive we are in 5 of those Churches now with exception to the Churches of Smryna and Philadelphia. . .and it is scary.

Godbless you brother

Channelofhealing said...

Thank You Fishhawk, Godbless

Channelofhealing said...

Amen and Amen Brother Luckenzo that is also my earnest Prayer too in Jesus Mighty Name Amen

Channelofhealing said...

Godbless you sis Kings Kid, definietly a reminder. . . and it makes me so happy that our God is same yesterday, today and forever, what He said in time past He will perform even today in Jesus Mighty Name Amen

Anna said...

Hannah, lot of work went into this post, and I appreciate all your work, this is really amazing post, and I really enjoyed reading and learning. Thanks again my dear, Anna :)

Channelofhealing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Channelofhealing said...

Anna, We give God all the Glory thank God for the web Photos and the Bible to help us understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Churches

Godbless

y-ADA-h said...

Great blog! factual and interesting.. for God's glory.

Channelofhealing said...

To God be Glory!!! Yadah Godbless