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 Acts 19:35 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 Galatians 4:26.
God-centred & hard working, Fundamentalist, and 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 (Up High)
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 boss (on earth), with the Lateran Palace in Rome, his own residence. Ends with Fall of Constantinople (Eastern Roman Empire).
Politically on Top with "priests" and "pastors" or Nicolaitans who then "rule" the laity

Nico-Overcome or Conquer (the laity).

4.Thyatira
Rev 2:18-29
Sacrificing continually313AD - Today
Starts with Constantine as Christian Church and Government powers combine. Worshiping statues and sexual sin.
Charitable but promoting demonic activity through blatant sin. Typified in James I of England who on one level sponsored the King James Version of the Bible, accepted the people's "worship" as head of the church, and took a nobleman to his bedchamber as his "wife". And indeed his son, Charles I was killed "with Death" (he was executed).
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, Baptist.
Separation of Church & State.
You have the name that "You live" but you are dead "Necrotic" i.e. dry, lifeless. Typified in Europe 1618-1648 by the Thirty Years War where eight million died, fought by the three separate "schools" of Catholicism, Lutheranism and Calvinism.
Click here for some brief notes on the etymology of the English word "school". Typified in England 1653-1658 with Oliver Cromwell's rule.
6.Philadelphia
Rev 3:7-13
Love of the Family — connected via the womb1738AD - Today
From John and Charles Wesley (Methodist Revival) and George Mueller 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

"You are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."

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 common 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 in 400AD. Click on Asia (in modern day western Turkey) to see these 7 cities.

**End of Notes