Thoughts on 7 Churches in Asia in Book of Revelation

The seven churches listed below can be viewed as

  1. Present at the time John wrote the letters
  2. Present worldwide through the time prism of the last 2000 years, and
  3. Present via all sermons, all preaching, in all bodies of believers in all places (perhaps even in the one Christian in different stages of life)

 CityEnglish Meaning of NameViewed as a Time PeriodComments about the Scriptures
1.Ephesus
Rev 2:1-7
City in the west
Apasus (Hittite word)
City of Mother God and where John is believed to have taken Mary - mother of the son of God - to spend her last years
31AD - 135AD
Day of Pentecost to the forced removal of Jews from City of Jerusalem, currently enslaved but on high free the Mother of us all
God-centred & hard working but forsaking first love.
2.Smyrna
Rev 2:8-11
Myrrh
Bitter Herbs
64AD - 312AD
10 major government persecutions from Nero to Diocletian
Politically Persecuted and Suffering
3.Pergamon
Rev 2:12-17
City furthest to the north
Fortified (Tower)

A close ally of Rome famous for the Pergamon Altar a luxurious Greek temple.

313AD - 1452AD
Starts with Law passed by Constantine allowing Christian Church to own propertyand presenting the Pope, the acknowledged leader (on earth), with the Lateran Palace in Rome, his own residence. Ends with Fall of Constantinople (Eastern Roman Empire)
Politically Connected
but allowing priests and pastors who then "control" everyone else.
4.Thyatira
Rev 2:18-29
Sacrificing continually313AD - Today
Starts with Constantine as Christian Church and Government powers combine. Worship of statues and sexual sin.
Charitable but also promoting worldly desires & demonic activity via idols. Typified in James I of England who sponsored the King James Version of the Bible, and both accepted the people's "worship" and took a nobleman to his bedchamber as "wife". And yes, his son, Charles I was killed "with Death" (i.e. by execution).
5.Sardis
Rev 3:1-6
Sardius "precious stone"1453AD - Today
From the Reformation and the National churches - both Episcopal Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed Presbyterian, Congregational.
Separation of Church & State
Spoken of as "Alive" but quite dry and very nearly dead. Typified in Oliver Cromwell's rule 1653-1658.
6.Philadelphia
Rev 3:7-13
Love of the Family — connected via the womb1738AD - Today
From John and Charles Wesley (Methodist Revival) in the following century.
Faithful and Prophetic and with a little power
Five wise virgins
7.Laodicea
Rev 3:14-22
City furthest south and east
People's Rights20th Century ChurchesMan-centred and Positivist but full of lukewarm blather
Five foolish virgins

Note 1. Ephesus hates but Pergamos allows some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans - which Christ hates. There are no clear historical records anywhere of this teaching. Accordingly, we look at its literal meaning, which is "Victory of/over the laity - the people" as compared with Jesus's words "do not be called Master" and "call no one on earth Father" Matthew 23:8-9

Note 2 on Thyatira: you allow the woman Jezebel to teach .. to cause my servants to go astray .. to practise idolatry
Jezebel's literal meaning is "unmarried or chaste - as if on a higher plane".

Click here for an excellent map of the Roman Empire. Click on Asia (in modern day western Turkey) to see these 7 cities.

**End of Notes