The seven churches – part 1
The main point of The Book of Revelation is to reveal Jesus Christ. It is a book of sign posts that direct us to eternal truths. It is Jesus who does the unveiling and revealing and not John. John simply records all that is revealed to him.. The aim of Revelation is to testify to everything that John saw.
To the seven churches:
These were seven churches that actually existed at that time. The names of the churches are given in Rev.1:11.
Why seven churches when in reality, there were nine?
At that time there were more that seven churches in Asia. For example in Acts 20:6-7 we read about Paul breaking bread in “Troas” which was in Asia. Also, we read of a letter written by Paul to a Church in Colossae. Epaphras founded this church, also Laodicea and Hierapolis, all found in Asia. (Acts 19:10). The Asia mention here is not the Asia we know of today. It is western Turkey, the province where the gospel was first planted.
The number seven symbolic:
The Book of Revelation is a book of symbols. The number seven is significant, it is symbolic. The earth was created in seven days. The number seven symbolises completeness. “The seven Churches,” represents the Church of all ages. The number seven is used several times in Revelation and has a great deal of importance: seven bowls of wrath, seven trumpets, seven angels, seven seals, seven thunders, seven winds, seven spirits and so on. All the warnings and promises can be applied to our present day churches. The use of this number seven is to symbolise something which is complete. Though John mentions seven churches in Rev.1:4, he is speaking to all the churches. What he is specifically saying to one church, he is saying to all. For example in Revelation 2 and 3 we see a series of letters to the churches. Each of those letters has a message to all churches… “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7). All the churches must listen to the messages given to the specific churches.
The problems that the Churches in Asia faced and the promises and threats made to them, apply to the Church of all ages. They are significant to us in this day and age. It effects us. Though seven churches were selected in Asia, it is simply a symbol of all the Churches. It is a message for the whole, complete body of Christ, for all Churches at all times. This message is not just for those in the first century, when it was first written. It is a message from Jesus Christ applicable to the Church now, as it was then and indeed every age to come. Jesus the same to day, yesterday and forever.
Stay tuned and follow this series. The riches in Christ are unsearchable. You can read the whole series here on this page.
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