Vol. 4, No. 17 – April 28, 2019
As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20
John makes three statements several times: “and He said; And I heard; and I saw.” He is reporting a first-person experience. Here in this series of verses (Revelation 1:20-3:22) he experiences all three statements – and he reports what that experience was. It is about seven churches that typify our churches today (and will typify churches at the end of time as well).
Again, the first few blogs are going to major on the “sevens” in Revelation. God’s number, the perfect number, is seven. There are a number of “sevens” in Revelation.
Seven Churches that Typify our Churches
1 – Ephesus
Ephesus was the most beautiful city of the ancient world at that time. Our churches are generally located in beautiful cities. However, notice what John hears Jesus say. Do not let your love grow cold! The church is doing many things well; however, it is obvious that they have lost their first love. The church needs to go back, repent, and do the good it did at the very beginning. If the church does not, regardless of its good programs and organization, Jesus says He will remove Himself from the church and they will continue in their STUFF instead of their love for Christ (Revelation 2:4-5). Wow! Thought our program STUFF was so cool!
2 – Smyrna
Smyrna was a beach city, with a great port on the Aegean Sea. The church suffered under tribulation; secular and pagans did not like People of the Way. They had their own way. However the biggest enemy was not the secular and pagans, it was the religionists. Jesus describes them as a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear the persecution of the world! (Revelation 2:10). A large number of churches get inward; afraid to be a witness to their community and into the far reaches of the world. Jesus cautions against the fear; after all, he is stronger than anything Satan can throw.
3 – Pergamon
Pergamon is an inland location, sort of country. Actually, paper was first “manufactured” here. Also, Pergamon had the largest library in the world. This is where Anthony and Cleopatra met; he gifted her the library and moved over 200,000 volumes to Alexandria. Trust the Word of God to keep you strong and faithful! Do not substitute other stuff. Sometimes we get so caught up in reading what other people write, we forget where absolute truth comes from (Revelation 2:15-16).
4 – Thyatira
Do not be like this. Avoid both sexual and spiritual adultery; be pure. (Revelation 2:25-29). Hold fast, do not compromise, do not get like the world and its system. You must not confuse the world that you have been sent to as a witness. Listen!
5 – Sardis
Hey! You live, as you are dead! Wake up now! (Revelation 3:2). There are many churches asleep at the switch. Life is going down the slippery slope while people are playing church. They have done their thing, it is time to sit back and let the younger folk do this STUFF. Strengthen what remains and is about to die!
6 – Philadelphia
Wow! I am blessed by your faithfulness; you gladden My heart! (Revelation 3:10). I will open a door of ministry and witness for you! You have kept My Word, you will be blessed!
7 – Laodicea
Laodicea is next to Colossae and Antioch. This church is cautioned. Do not yield to complacency; invite Me in! Let Me revolutionize and transform your life! If you do, you will have a princely position in the age to come! (Revelation 3:20-21). Yet, the church is lukewarm, like the water that flows into the city. Lukewarm water never tastes good; it needs to be refreshed. So many churches have retreats when they should be advancing the Gospel – they are lukewarm in their love for Jesus Christ.
Which church is your church – or does your church have several of the problems Jesus speaks of?
Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6).