Introduction to the Seven Churches of Revelation
My interest in the seven churches began to be stimulated many years ago with hearing for the first time the study of the book of Revelation. It was at this time I realized that I had many questions about the prophetic word of God found in the book of Revelation. In addition, at that time my understanding that it was a book of the Holy Scriptures that held many answers to my questions. One of my questions was this: There has to be more to the book of Revelation and what are teachers and preachers not teaching.
It has been out of my studies of the book of Revelation that my concern grew greater for understanding the letters or messages to the seven churches. I have found during my years of ministry that before anyone can arrive to fully appreciate or understand the Revelation of Jesus Christ as well as the revelation of the messages to the seven churches they must go back and examine the events, the background, and the history recorded in the Holy Scriptures that lead to Jesus sending these messages. Another way of stating it is what I think most individuals who read the book of Revelation will agree that the key elements to each of our understanding to the seven messages is in each individual church and what is taking place in that church.
Then of course we must also consider interpretation of the seven churches and how our Lord addressed each church regarding His principles and standards to gain our eternal reward. It is well to note early in this introduction one of the important things I believe that most teachers and pastors miss when teaching about the seven churches that the Lord Jesus stated it in this manner “write” meaning that John was to write what the Lord dictated unto him. In addition, I feel that it would be safe in saying unless we get the interpretation of each message or letter regarding the seven churches then there is little chance in our understanding the rest of the book of Revelation. I state this because of what is taught traditional that the church is not mention any more in the book of Revelation. However, I firmly believe that our Lord is telling the church what will take place with them if they do not overcome the world and the sins of the world.
Let me also say with all honesty that I can be wrong and even overlook some of the most important things or the most vital element that our Lord might be addressing in these seven messages, however, I am addressing these seven messages from what the Spirit of God has revealed unto me personally. In my studies of the seven churches it is my understanding that these are Divine Messages sent by our Lord to bring a distinct message to each church as well as for the people today.
One of the things that is stated by many scholars and theologians is that John is the author of the book of Revelation. However, I have my own understanding about who the author is because of how the book of Revelation begins and how the seven messages are addressed to the seven churches. With all honesty there can only be one understanding that John is the writer of the book of Revelation and our Lord is the author.
In this introduction to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 there are many different ways to understand these letters or messages and how one may relate or interpret these universal messages regarding church life then and now. Now let it also be known that know where in the New Testament do you find it stated where God gave unto His Son the revelation of this book of Revelation to give “unto His servants the things that must shortly come to pass” meaning God has given to the church His prophetic word Revelation 1:1. Therefore, this book of Revelation is a book of prophecy to be read, to be heard, and to be kept Revelation 1:3.
First of all it is important to remember that the key interpretation begins in Revelation 1:11 where the Lord makes it clear that John is to send an individual letter to each church and the Lord names all of the churches that will receive His message. It would also be well to note that the first three chapters’ one might say is the foundation for the rest of the book of Revelation of things that must shortly come to pass. In addition, I further believe that this is the prophetic word or revelation for Israel, the church, and the last days for this Revelation of Jesus Christ are the things that must shortly come to pass. Commentary About the Seven Churches Ephesus