Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Seven Churches



Rev 1:10-11 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, ‘Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’” (NAS)

1. These seven churches actually existed in John’s time and were just as John described them.
2. Throughout the Christian Era there have been churches spiritually like each of those churches.
3. Those were not the only churches in Asia Minor, they were chosen by the Lord in a specific order for a reason.

The Post Road

Though there were three other cities nearby to whom Paul had written epistles (Thessalonica, Philippi and Colosse. They were not included because they were not on a Post Road beginning in Ephesus.

As a result, they could not give us a timed picture of conditions in the Church during the Christian era.

The Post Road began in Ephesus and continued on to the various cities in the order given in Revelation 2-3.

From “Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” And that exactly matches the spiritual condition of
Church during the Christian era.

32-95AD Ephesus..........“Lost your first love...”
Rev 2:4, Heresy enters church: Marcionites, Gnostics,
Nicolaitans, Balaamites, etc.

95-321AD Smyrna...........“Persecuted 10 days...” Rev 2:10
Ten major persecutions under ten Roman Emperors: (1) Domitian (2) Trajan (3) Hadrian (4) Antonius Pius (5) Marcus Arelius (6) Septimus Severus (7) Maximin (8) Decius (9) Valerian (10) Diocletian

321-450AD Pergamum......“Where Satan's throne is...” Rev 2:13
Constantine makes Christianity state religion. Church hierarchy begins.

450-950AD Thyatira.........“That Woman Jezebel...” Rev 2:20
Beginning of Mary worship. Idols brought into the churches. Bishops rise to power.

950-1450AD Sardis............“But you are dead...” Rev 3:1
Dead Catholic formalism. Bible taken from the people. Persecution of the brethren intensifies.

1450-1948AD Philadelphia...“You have kept My Word...” Rev 3:8
The Reformation, Protestant churches rise, the Puritan movement, foreign missions founded.

1948AD-???? Laodicea........ “You are neither hot nor cold...” Rev 3:15
Lukewarm church of today. Great “so-called works,” but spiritually cool.

Less than 3% of Europeans still claim the faith. Their great cathedrals have been turned into tourist attractions. 30,000 people a week are leaving mainline churches. (1995 statistic)

In Britain today, more people worship in mosques than in the Church of England.
In Scotland, it’s difficult to finda church open.

The Church of Today

Revelation 3:14-22 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither (spiritually) cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art (spiritually) lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am (spiritually) rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing (huge organizations, popular pastors and world-renowned TV evangelists); and knowest not that thou art (spiritually) wretched, and (spiritually) miserable, and poor, and blind, and (spiritually) naked: I counsel thee to buy of me (spiritual) gold tried in the fire (of My cross), that thou mayest be (spiritually) rich; and white raiment (of My imputed righteousness), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy (spiritual) nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with (spiritual) eyesalve, that thou mayest see (marvelous things out of my law). As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man (in the other six churches, the Lord was dealing with the church in general, but in this Laodicean age, He is addressing each of us as individuals) hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”



Daniel & Revelation Teaching Outline

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