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The 7 Churches of Asia Minor

John's 7 epistles to the 7 churches in Asia Minor must be seen in connection with Paul's letter to the Romans (chps. 9-11) and other predictions that foretell the end of Christendom (as an earthly testimony; they will be transplanted to heaven at the Rapture) and the renewal of the Lord's relations with His earthly people, the 2 and 10 tribes of Israel. "No prophecy is of its own interpretation," Scripture says; i.e. one must compare text with text and context with context and that throughout the Old and New Testament.

Ephesians had the Nicolaites, Smyrna the feigning opponents, Pergamum had the false idolaters, Thyatira the promulgators of false doctrine, Sardis the nominal Christians, Philadelphia the outsiders and Laodicea the hypocrites. Personally I categorize these seven churches as Jewish Catholics, true Catholics, 'old' Catholics, Romish Catholics, protestants, the faithful and the end time Pentecostals and evangelicals. Notice I say 'Romish' Catholics, to include also Greek, Russian and other so-called orthodox churches, where they all venerate the mother goddess in some measure.

Only the local churches, or assemblies ('ekklesia'=group called out) of Smyrna and Philadelphia had no upbraiding directed at them.

I argue that, as to character, all 7 churches still exist today; not at the same location of course: and that, other than that, they have a prophetic meaning, representing 7 stadia of Christendom. Of these 7 stadia, only the last 4 are still in existence.

Thyatira (Rev. 2.18-29 {Thyatira are the Catholic churches (not only the Roman one), just as Sardis represents the protestants, etc. according to faithful commentators}) harbors 'those that know the depths of Satan'. And the Lord warns those Mariolaters that He will give them according to their works. So these are also people that need to confess their sins and recognize the sovereign authority of the Lord. Just like anybody else for that matter. Of course most Catholics by far are totally ignorant of these 'knowers of Satan', as is apparent from the passage. (These are no Satanists, but I am afraid that they are victims of occult powers, worked through misleading fallen angels that operate behind so-called saints and Mary. How I wish it wasn't so! However see here on the whore of whores.). Nor need they worry. Faithful Catholics are told to hold on to what they have, spiritually. Of course misled and ignorant Catholics are told unequivocally to repent, I mean those who never really understood the gospel; people that contend themselves with outward trappings. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say, the majority, as also in Sardis and Laodicea. In fact all the faithful in these churches face a majority of unfaithful, nominal Christians (as if the enmity of the world is not enough!).

Thyatira then is tainted with Mariolatry, Sardis with superciliousness and swagging ("You have the name that you live, but you are dead!") and Laodicea is crippled by lukewarmness and levity.

What is the golden mean of a true Philadelphia!? "You have kept the word of my perseverance." A true Christian testimony makes no compromises with either Pharisees or Sadducees and neither forgets the zealots; but puts a leash on them. They warn against the teachings of the Herodians of this world and they carry people in their hearts. They withstand alien elements on both the right and the left and they do not forget the smallest commandments ("He that teaches the commandments, but loosens the smallest, will be called little in the kingdom of heaven.") and their righteousness surpasses those of the Pharisees, also in giving time and money. "Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you can in no way go into the kingdom of heaven." Now the Pharisees gave 10 percent, but they ate up the houses of the widows. Give liberally, "For God LOVES the cheerful giver." They do not rust in a rut of traditionalism, yet they hold on to the 'old paths'. And a true testimony worships ("For the Father also SEEKS those that worship Him. God is a spirit and those that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and Truth.") in true character of the Bible, not becoming so Pharisaic that you destroy, emotionally, the weak and alienate children and not becoming so tolerant that people lose vision. "Where there is no vision, the people perish;" and "My people is destroyed by lack of knowledge."

A true Christian testimony knows that the Lord 'wants mercy and not sacrifice' and that 'mercy boasts against judgment'. They are motivated by love and selflessness and yet know that 'a feast is made for laughter and wine gladdens the heart'. They do not only visit with one another, but they carry each others' burdens. They discourage and chastise the bad and they encourage and strengthen the good; the latter not by silence, but by compliments. They hold on to the inerrancy of the bible and their hearts and minds are open for new ideas, nuances and insights. In this they have not grown lax. As far as the table of the Lord is concerned, they admit whom the Lord would admit and they refuse whom the Lord would refuse. And in this they are clear and do not keep people in a dubious limbo. They own their mistakes and make good on them and learn from them as a community. Those that are in esteem among them have a good reputation on the outside. They grow as a community, quantitatively and qualitatively, yet allow for differences between individuals and respect each other in this regard. They do not neglect the mutual meetings and they do not look down upon those that attend irregularly, or hardly, because of a weakness.

Laodicea is the endtime church (of this dispensation, not of the world!) that is characterized by a pseudo modernism filled with the lukewarm drivel of halfhearted religiosity that must pass as sympathetic understanding and coolheaded, no-nonsense savvy. They have given up the paradox of and the golden mean (the happy medium) between, on the one hand being the salt (spice, sic!) of this world and on the other hand, being separated from evil ["Fear for the Lord is to hate evil."] That is why they will be vomited out by the Lord at His coming in the clouds and they will be left behind and like the 5 foolish virgins they will find themselves before a closed door. For professing to be rich ("Blessed are the poor in spirit", that is those that see that they are spiritually poor) in God with 20-20 vision, in reality they are poor, naked and blind spiritually. For ever teaching and never coming to the knowledge of the truth, they continually congratulate both themselves and each other and never come to true worship; even though they may call their music worship (which serves but for the purpose of an empty feel good meditation; high on Jesus). Most of them are not truly born again by the Holy Spirit, even though they may apply that term to themselves. Therefore they are bastard spawns of the devil: except for those that are lovingly disciplined by the chastising and loving hand of the Shepherd, Who "stands at the door" and knocks (yes He is outside, also at 9/11!). Laodiceans make compromises on the left that drain real believers of holiness and emotional power and clear-cut understanding. The Lord warned us: "What shall be done with salt when it has lost its flavor? It is only good to be thrown out and to be trodden upon." (Hopefully in the 5th day of human history they will be able to use it for a path [see The 7 Days of Human History and its 13 Kings]).

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