Revelation 1-3: Letters to the 7 Churches

Rev 1-3: What do the churches represent?

  • The actual churches of John's time

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • #1 + they represent historical church ages

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • #1 + they represent church types

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • All of the above

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10

MtnMan

Well-Known Member
As far as I know, there are 3 different interpretations for the "churches" mentioned in Revelation 1-3.
1) the actual churches during that time
2) They represent church ages down through history
3) They represent church types which are present in every generation

Taking a poll, but I would be interested in reasons for holding a view as well.

One portion of the letter to the church of Philadelphia states the following, which makes me think #2 or #3
[Rev 3:10-11 NASB95] 10 'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that [hour] which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
 
Last edited:

Lovin Jesus

Well-Known Member
The seven churches to which Jesus addressed the book of Revelation all existed in John’s time. But as you study them you can see that they were chosen because in the order of their appearance they represent the entire church age. Ephesus stands for the first century church, Smyrna is the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and Pergamum is the 4th Century church during the time of Constantine. Thyatira represents the Catholic church which emerged from the Holy Roman Empire. Sardis represents the main line protestant church that broke away from the Catholics, Philadelphia is the Evangelical Church that broke away from the main line protestants, and Laodicea is the apostate church that broke away from all of them.

In a careful reading of the the letters you can see that some from the Catholic (Rev. 2:24-25) and Protestant (Rev. 3:4) churches will go in the rapture, and everyone from the Evangelical Church will go (Rev. 3:10). But no one from the apostate church will be raptured because they are not believers but are a church in name only. Jesus is standing outside the door knocking (Rev. 3:20) instead of being inside among the people.


https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/more-on-the-seven-churches-of-rev-2-3/
 

Hiftobaf

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking that they could be a dual fulfillment and these churches could be re-established post-rapture. Some of language used in Rev 1-3 doesn't fit the Church Age, such as Rev 2:9 and Rev 3:16.
 

UntilTheWholeWorldHears

Well-Known Member
The seven churches to which Jesus addressed the book of Revelation all existed in John’s time. But as you study them you can see that they were chosen because in the order of their appearance they represent the entire church age. Ephesus stands for the first century church, Smyrna is the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and Pergamum is the 4th Century church during the time of Constantine. Thyatira represents the Catholic church which emerged from the Holy Roman Empire. Sardis represents the main line protestant church that broke away from the Catholics, Philadelphia is the Evangelical Church that broke away from the main line protestants, and Laodicea is the apostate church that broke away from all of them.

In a careful reading of the the letters you can see that some from the Catholic (Rev. 2:24-25) and Protestant (Rev. 3:4) churches will go in the rapture, and everyone from the Evangelical Church will go (Rev. 3:10). But no one from the apostate church will be raptured because they are not believers but are a church in name only. Jesus is standing outside the door knocking (Rev. 3:20) instead of being inside among the people.


https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/more-on-the-seven-churches-of-rev-2-3/
I believe this is the correct view as well, however, over the years I have heard different teaching that doesn't believe the 7 churches represent a church era.
Curious to read what others on here might say???
 

Hiftobaf

Well-Known Member
I believe this is the correct view as well, however, over the years I have heard different teaching that doesn't believe the 7 churches represent a church era.
Curious to read what others on here might say???

I don't like the perspective that it's about church eras. The eras are broken up arbitrarily and are focused mainly on Western Europe and the US.
 

Matthew6:33

Withstand in the evil day. Eph 6:13
I don't like the perspective that it's about church eras. The eras are broken up arbitrarily and are focused mainly on Western Europe and the US.
Not church eras, the church age -- they line up historically with the churches throughout the entire age, yet still all existed in John's time of writing Revelation -- a foreshadowing of whats to come.

I would argue that Philadelphia and Laodicea exist today. The former is fading and the latter is growing. Alot of churches (especially in the USA) actually contain both church types.
 
Last edited:

usoutpost31

Well-Known Member
I believe John explicitly addressed the churches of Asia Minor, (Rev 1:4) in the same style that Paul explicitly addressed the churches to which he wrote. My view is Revelation was meant for the first century believers, first, and then for us later.

Whether the seven churches actually represent the Church Age is a highly contentious topic, and there is not a lot of agreement. Some hold that view, but I don't think it has been proven.
 

JoyJoyJoy

I Shall Not Be Moved
My understanding is that it describes churches in Biblical times as well as through the church age and describes churches today.

I have also heard that each church can represent a type of Christian. I am not Biblically knowledgeable enough to address that idea. I can kinda understand it..
 
Top