MEDITERRANEAN SEA BLACK SEA SYRIA IRAQ IRAN Ephesus Sardis Pergamum Philadelphia Laodicea Smyrna Thiatira
Let’s look at each church and their positive and negative points, the result of their sin, commands given to, and the meaning of the churches name.
Ephesus was a celebrated city in Asia Minor, and was about 40 miles south of Smyrna. Its people were distinguished for refinement of manners, and also for luxury, for music and dancing, and for the seductive arts festivals.
Artemis (Diana) of the Ephesians
Theatre at Ephesus
Library at Ephesus
Ephesus Agora or Market Place
Ephesus Temple of Domitian
Ephesus Temple of Hadrian
Ephesus 1. Ephesus means ‘permitted - desirable’(Acts 20:17-32, Ps.105:14, Is.65:1, Ps. 19:8-11) – as in to date – left their first love
The Harbour at Smyrna
The Hermus River Valley at Smyrna
The Agora or Market Place at Smyrna
Smyrna 2.Smyrna means ‘ myrrh’ – sweet fragrance - used for medicine to deaden pain, – anointing oil – preparing a bride (Esther 2:12, Rev. 5:8)- also embalming - coming persecution – myrrh must be crushed to give off it’s aroma, so the church will be crushed through tribulation. Note – in scripture, it is always used as a anointing oil mix, drink(with wine), or perfume (especially for lovers), except one time in John 19:39 to embalm Jesus.
The Theatre at Pergamos
Acropolis and Sacred Way leading to it
Model of the Temple of Zeus at the Pergamum
the altar of Zeauz
Temple of Trajan
Pergemum 3.Pergamum means ‘fortified- height, tower’(Judges 9:51, II Sam.22:51, Psalm 61:3, Proverbs 18:10, Micah 4:8, Luke 14:28, Luke 22:35-37)) – -They loved money and power more than Jesus, also loved pleasure. If they don’t repent, God will discipline them through battle.
Valley from Thyatira
Thyatira 4.Thyatira = “sacrifice of labor – a perfume to comfort in affliction(Acts 16:14-27, Psalm 107:41, Is.48:9-11)” – They tolerate sin and immorality. If they don’t repent, He will give them sickness.
Sardis was in an ideal location in the plain of the River Hermus Valley. It was the meeting place of several major trade routes. Sardis was guaranteed commercial prosperity. It was built on a 1500 foot high plateau with steep cliffs on three sides and a narrow road leading to the city on the fourth side. This made Sardis virtually impenetrable to attack. Sardis was so blessed the river which flowed through the town carried gold dust.
Sardis 5.Sardis = “red (like metal being refined) – prince of joy – (Matt. 16:3, Rev. 6:4, Is. 9:6+)” – They are asleep and have soiled garments. No righteous acts. If they don’t repent, Jesus will come like a thief. They will miss it and be judged.
Ruins of Aqueduct at Philadelphia
Phily 6.Philadelphia = “brotherly love” (Romans 10:12,13)- Jesus loves them, they will be kept from the ‘hour of testing’ - testing = discipline, judgment. They will be kept from the trumpet judgments.
Hierapolis — healing waters and limestone cliffs
Laodicea — clay pipe calcified by minerals from Hierapolis
Colossae — source of the refreshing cold waters
Laodicia 7.Laodicea = “justice of the people” (Col.2:1,2; Is. 30:18, I Thess. 4:18, Rev.6:9-12, Matt. 24:29-31, Matt. 10:23, ) they are luke warm, mediocre Christians – He will discipline (justice – punishment to teach a lesson) them – and then knock on the door of their heart.
The meaning of each church tells the story of the church that will be here during the 70 th week of Daniel: Not the descriptions of the churches, but the meaning of their name.
The church will be permitted to exist and even be desirable (Ephesus) in the beginning of the 70 th week, it will be a medicine (Smyrna) for deadening the pain the world is suffering and become anointed with extra oil, as a bride, preparing for her groom. The church will have tribulation for ten days. Like myrrh, during this time of crushing, it will give off it’s sweetest aroma. During this time it will fortify itself (Pergamum) and take refuge in the tower of the Lord – partaking in hidden manna, laboring sacrificially for the Kingdom (Thyatira). For those who remain faithful, the church will be a fragrance that comforts during difficult times (still Thyatira), and will be spared the wrath. Through labor and persecution the church will be refined by fire, turning red as hot metal (Sardis) and will look for the coming (Sardis) Prince of Joy.
They will truly love one another (Philadelphia) and the bride will make herself ready. God will give them an open door that no one can shut. Their hope will be in the return of Christ, and they will comfort one another with news of His soon return. It is then that the bride will have made herself ready. The groom will come and receive her. When He comes, He will bring those who have died in Him, and those who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them. They will stand before the bema (judgment,reward) seat of Christ (Laodicea), presented as gold refined by fire of tribulation, sweet incense (fracencense), and myrrh (an anointed bride), and partake in the marriage supper of the Lamb, being raptured prior to the hour of testing which begins with the Trumpet judgments and leads into the bowls of wrath that will be poured out on this earth, finally bringing justice for the people (Laodicea).
ChurchPositiveNegativeResultMeaning Ephesus Promise: Eat of the Tree of Life Rev. 22: Hard working Perseveran ce Endurance Do not tolerate evil Know Scripture Left their first love Are not doing the deeds they did at first Removal of their lampstand. Command; Remember, Repent, Do, Overcome Permitted, Desirable Smyrna Promise: Not hurt by the second death (lake of fire) Rev. 20:6 Faithful in Tribulation, poverty. NoneCommand; Do not fear, be faithful even to death, Overcome Myrrh – anointing oil, sweet fragrance, soothing medicine It gives off it’s aroma when it is crushed.
Pergamum Promise: Eat of hidden manna Deut. 8:16 Hold fast to Jesus, Do not deny the faith. Compromise, desiring riches, pleasure seeking Jesus will come quickly and make war with them. Command; Repent, Overcome Tower fortress Thyatira Promise: Jesus will give the morning star II Peter I:19 Rev. 22:16 Love, faith, service, good deeds, perseverance Tolerates immorality and compromise Sickness, and pestilence. Jesus will judge them according to their deeds Command; Repent, hold fast – endure, overcome, keep His commands until the end. Sacrificial labor, perfume to comfort during affliction
Sardis Promise: Will not blot his name out of the book of life. Rev. 13:8 NoneNamed Christian but practical atheists, Asleep, no deeds, dead. Jesus will come like a thief Command; Wake up, strengthen what remains, complete the task (great commission? ), Overcome Red –as in metal being heated for refining, Prince of Joy Philadelphia Promise: Will be a pillar in the temple of God. Psalm 27:4 Rev. 21:22 Good deeds, open door, a little power, kept His Word, did not deny His name Perseverance NoneCommands; Hold fast to what you have, don’t let anyone take your crown, overcome Brotherly love
Laodicea Promise: Will sit with Jesus on His throne – reign with Christ. Rev. 20:5,6 NoneLukewarm (compromise d), proud, spiritually naked & blind Spit out of His mouth.(reject ed at His coming) Command; Be hot or cold (stop compromisin g)j, get spiritual riches, open your spiritual eyes, be zealous and repent, open the door of your heart to Jesus, overcome.