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[Revelation Ch.2: The 7 Churches]

I. Features

     These seven letters are unique in all Biblical literature. Christ Himself personally dictated them from heaven--using the first person pronoun ("I").

A. Geographic Order of the Letters

     The presented order of these churches naturally follow the geographical contour of that region. A messenger would naturally make delivery first to Ephesus, a seaport. Then up to Smyrna, and further north to Pergamum, then clockwise to Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and finally Laodicea.

B. Standard Framework of Each Letter

          1. Christ's title (taken from Chapter 1)

  • Ephesus--He holds the 7 stars and walks amidst the 7 candlesticks (2:1);

  • Smyrna--He is the first and last, was dead and is alive (2:8);

  • Pergamum--He has the sharp sword with two edges (2:12);

  • Thyatira--His eyes like fire and his feet like brass (2:18);

  • Sardis--He has the 7 spirits of God and the 7 stars (3:1);

  • Philadelphia--He is holy, true, holds the key of David (3:7)

  • Laodicea--He is the Amen, faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (3:14)

          2. Christ's Commendation

  • Ephesus--Works, labour, patience, discernment, hatred for           Nicolaitanes

  • Smyrna--Works, tribulation, poor yet rich

  • Pergamum--Works, did not deny Christ

  • Thyatira--More Works, charity, service, faith, patience

  • Sardis--Works, some of them are pure

  • Philadelphia--Works, unshut door, little strength but keep word, did not deny Christ, Christ's love

  • Laodicea--(none)

          3. Christ's Censure

  • Ephesus--Left first love

  • Smyrna--(none)

  • Pergamum--accepted doctrine of Balaam, idolatry, fornication, doctrine of Nicolaitanes

  • Thyatira--allowed Jezebel to teach, fornication, idolatry

  • Sardis--living yet dead, works not perfect

  • Philadelphia--(none)

  • Laodicea--Neither cold nor hot, really poor, blind, naked

          4. Christ's Counsel

  • Ephesus--Remember, repent and go back to basics

  • Smyrna--Fear not prison and tribulation, be faithful unto   death

  • Pergamum--Repent or be destroyed by Christ's sword

  • Thyatira--Hold fast until Christ returns

  • Sardis--Be watchful, remember, hold fast, repent, watch

  • Philadelphia--Be kept from going through Great Tribulation, Hold fast and do not relinquish crown

  • Laodicea--Buy Christ's tried gold, white raiment, eyesalve, to open door to Christ's knock

          5. Christ's Promise to Overcomers

  • Ephesus--Eat of Tree of Life in Paradise

  • Smyrna--Crown of Life, escape the second death

  • Pergamum--Eat of Hidden Manna, given a new name on white stone

  • Thyatira--Rule over nations, given the morning star

  • Sardis--Clothe in white, name in book of life, confess name before Father and angels

  • Philadelphia--Be pillar in temple of God, on him will be names           of God, of New Jerusalem, and Christ's new name.

  • Laodicea--To sup with Christ, to sit with Christ on throne

C. Messages for Today

     Though the seven messages seemingly fit different eras of church history, they are altogether applicable to the entire church through history. In other words, all the messages are applicable and will edify the church today.

 

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